While early release days at Fuquay-Varina Middle School usually are filled with celebrations and not much instruction, the students got a different lesson last Friday.
With the help of a $2,770 grant from Lowe’s and the generous help of Daniel’s Mulch, the Bengals got their hands dirty to help beautify the campus. As part of a community service day, the students planted new shrubbery and spread mulch.
“[Lowe’s] generously donated and it’s been a trickle event,” FVMS parent and volunteer Christine Owens, who helped the school get the grant as the Parent/Teacher Association’s beautification committee chair.
Jimmy Chillcott from Chill Cuts Lawn Maintenance in Willow Spring donated his time to help with the project, even though he doesn’t have any children at the school. He heard about the project because a good friend has a seventh grader at FVMS.
In all, nearly 125 students spread out around campus to help with the beautification project.
“The kids have been helpful,” Chillcott said. “I think they’re having a blast.”
More community service projects took place inside the campus throughout the morning as well. Other projects included painting bookmarks for the Fuquay-Varina Community Library, packaging dried soup contents for Urban Ministries, creating crafts with recycled materials to send to Nicaragua and making bag lunches for the Raleigh Rescue Mission. Students also created games for WakeMed patients, wrote letters to send to active military personnel that are deployed as well as Sandy Hook Elementary students, made silk flower centerpieces to give to local nursing homes and learned about how they can help in the fight against Multiple Sclerosis.
Band members introduced students with special needs to instruments and performed with them during the service hour as well.
All of the students were assigned a location for their service hour.
“We had a whole day of community service going on,” FVMS PTA First Vice President Wendy Lyons said.
PTA President Kelly Stone said the Bengal Pride Bonanza brought a sense of community to the school.
“This time, we decided [the students] would give back to the community,” she said.
In return, Stone saw a lot of support from local businesses like Sheets, who donated sandwiches to volunteers for the event.
“The community really stepped up,” Stone said.
More beautification projects are coming to FVMS in April thanks to donations from the Fuquay-Varina Woman’s Club, the Garden Hut and the local Rotary Club. Included in the next phase of the beautification is the painting of the school’s doors; they’ll be Bengal orange. Stone expects to give a facelift to the amphitheater inside campus and color code the buildings that house the different grade levels with different color paw prints.
The next beautification day is set for April 19, the school’s next early release day.
Contact Kelly Griffith at email@example.com or 919-552-5675.