Volunteers give Shelton Park a makeover

Shelton Park Elementary School received a whole new look to start this school year.

On Aug. 25, thanks to the generosity of Partner in Education, Wave City Care, more than 200 community volunteers from the school, neighborhood and Wave Church descended upon the school to give it a facelift for the 2012-2013 school year.

Volunteers – along with school administration and faculty – worked their magic throughout the day to reorganize the literacy center, assist teachers in setting up their classrooms and paint hallways and common areas. Members of Boat Team 20 stationed at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek/Fort Story (also partners with the school) joined in to set up computers, hang bulletin board paper and organize classroom reading centers. Outside of the building, volunteers mulched and weeded courtyards and garden areas and assisted with planting in the school’s outdoor learning gardens. Seating areas in both of the school’s courtyards were refurbished so language arts and science classes may be conducted outdoors as needed. Even VBCPS Assistant Superintendent of Educational Leadership and Assessment Don Robertson and his wife Debbie, school improvement specialist at Lynnhaven Middle School, came out to trim bushes and shrubs, rake, bag debris and mulch beds.

While some upgrades were aesthetic, others were also educational.

Volunteers painted murals of the school mascot in the cafeteria as well as created a historical timeline and number line that runs along the walls as students travel through the building.

“We are excited that students will be able to add content about historical events throughout the year, which will help them to prepare for the May SOLs,” said Shannan Haas, event facilitator and third grade teacher at Shelton Park. “The building looks even more inviting for our students than ever. We are so grateful to Wave City Care volunteers and Sue Fitzgerald, vice president of Wave City Care, for helping to make this project such a success. It has been a true community effort to support our kids.”

Second grade teacher, Alyssa Crouch, couldn’t believe the welcome she experienced at her new school as she watched volunteers Stacey Betsinger and Mycia Jackson help alphabetize books and ready her classroom for students on September 4. “I’m just moving back home to Virginia Beach after teaching for eight years in Fairfax,” Crouch said. “I’ve never seen anything like this before. What a great welcome to Virginia Beach schools and the community.”

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