JPS volunteers and staff spruce up campuses during ‘Beautification Day’

Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 6:42 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Hundreds of volunteers were hard at work Friday at each JPS campus, sprucing up for the students’ return. Parents to administration, and staff rolled up their sleeves to paint, mow, and more to welcome this coming semester.

Nine-year-old Lee Dellar Ross is tickled by the sight of the carnations she and Carolyn Wilson planted at Lester Elementary School on “Beatification Day.”

“That’s something I love to do,” said Ross.

They hope the flowers will bring smiles to the students on the first day of class.

“I set them all out and watered them. I put the red mulch around them,” added Ross. “I think it should be nice because I love to deal with flowers. I work in flowers every day”.

Wilson, an assistant teacher for 14 years, remembered her days in the classroom.

“In my mind, it was showing me where I was working with the kids years ago,” said Wilson. “I love to work with kids.”

Inside, Lester, teachers, and staff repainted encouraging messages the students will see daily, preparing for a successful school year.

“It speaks to a broader commitment of this community, wrapping arms around our scholars, around our schools, demonstrating that we’re all in this together,” said Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Errick Greene.

The district leader arrived at Lester at 7 a.m. and got to work scrapping the paint from the sign in front of the school to give it a fresh look.

At Pecan Park Elementary, fifth-grade science teacher Ryan Johnson was setting up the supplies he purchased for his classroom. Teachers were busy cleaning their rooms and decorating. Administrators organized, set up chairs and tables, and tidied up classrooms.

Volunteers come from all walks of life. Retired Mississippi Highway Patrol Director Chris Gillard has volunteered at the school for three years. He spent the day cutting the lawn and cleaning the grounds.

Jackson Ward 5 Councilman Vernon Hartley brought out the weed whacker to trim the grass along the sidewalks and around the campus. Other volunteers power-washed the entryways to the school, brightening the pavement students will walk.

“This is but one example that I hope young people will see and hopefully carry forward,” added the superintendent. “This is not just about what others are doing for us but what we can do for ourselves.”

District officials thanked businesses and individuals that donated supplies ranging from paint to soil mulch and other items. Classes start on August 8.

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