Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Wooten Elementary School Gets Mormon Makeover

Africans & Missionaries Help With School Renovation

Saturday, October 8 was a beautiful day in Austin. Warm but not hot. Low humidity and low pollen count for allergy sufferers. No chance of rain. Sunny with just enough cloud cover to keep everyone from over heating. In short----a perfect day for the annual Austin Stake service project at Wooten Elementary School which is located in an impoverished neighborhood with mostly Hispanic, African American and refugee children from various countries. We left the house before sun up to coordinate picking up people to come and help. The Ninnie family and the Saylees from Liberia and the 4 Adetuyis from Nigeria were all there to participate. All the missionaries from our zone were also there.

It was great to show up at 8 a.m. and see over 700 volunteers in bright yellow Mormon Helping Hands vests already getting to work on many projects all around the outside of the school and the inside of the school. People were tearing up sod and laying down mulch for flower beds. Many trees and shrubs were being planted all around the school grounds. Painting of support posts and walls was going on everywhere. The school sign was restored and a bench refurbished in a new seating area that was our group’s main project.

Jennifer, Veronica and Eileen prune a bush.
Many new shrubs and trees were planted to beautify the school
Nigerians get the job done!
Sisters Newell and Taylor, always smiling
McDonald and Karr breaking ground
Shoal Creek members work on this bench to become a center piece of the school
Eileen and I weren’t needed for the heavy work outside so we found a first year teacher who was hired just before school started and had no time to prepare her room properly. She had several people working in her room on bulletin boards, teaching materials, etc. She assigned Eileen and I to develop
We created an in class library of a few hundred new books
an in class library. She showed us some bookshelves with books piled on them and plastic tubs filled a few hundred more books of all genres. She gave us a box with many rolls of colored tape and we coded each genre with a different color of tape and then put colored tapes on each bookshelf so students could easily put books back on the shelf by matching the tape we put on the spine of each book with the tapes on each of the bookshelves.
Eileen put colored tape on every book before putting it on a shelf with the same color tape on the front of it so kids could easily put their books away in their proper location.

 Dan looked up the genre of every book to figure out which color of tape it should be tagged with. A tedious task for sure.


There was a great sense of satisfaction on the part of all those involved and the school was literally transformed in just 3 short hours.
    This is the bench that Shoal Creek Ward members and missionaries sanded, painted, and landscaped. This is now a centerpiece at the entrance to the school.                                        


As my mother might have said, “Many hands make light work.”
This is especially true when there are refreshments at the end. 

Snow cones, popcorn, and ice cream make for a perfect day 
after a work party. 

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