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Sandy Journal

Four elementary schools get freshened up, thanks to community volunteers

Oct 04, 2021 03:10PM ● By Julie Slama

A group of United Way of Salt Lake volunteers help paint a mural inside Sandy Elementary. (Isa Connelly/Sandy Elementary)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

About 100 community volunteers were paired up with four schools in Canyons School District for projects from sprucing up school grounds and gardens to painting murals as part of the annual United Way of Salt Lake’s Day of Caring.

The community members were part of 1,000 volunteers from more than 30 companies who provided service on Sept. 9 to schools and nonprofit organizations, according to the United Way of Salt Lake’s website.

A noticeable project was at East Midvale as volunteers from Jacobsen Construction came to not only paint the school’s playground gaga ball courts, but to also paint a mural on the school’s exterior. They also worked on a kiosk to display information about the school as well as tidied the school garden.

“It’s a mural to brighten our school and make it be more welcoming,” said Shelley McCall, East Midvale Elementary community school facilitator. “As a community school, we are the hub of our community; we want to welcome our community and provide resources for them.”

The mural is intentionally simplistic, McCall said. It shows a reflection of the mountains with a soaring eagle—tying in the school mascot.

Sandy Elementary also had a 12-foot by 11-foot mural painted, but it is located inside, in the school library. The mural was created by local artist Brandon Bouck. Volunteers helped to paint the mural of children climbing and sitting in a tree under the words, “We Grow Together.” 

“It ties into our theme of inclusiveness and what brings us together,” said Isa Connelly, Sandy Elementary community school facilitator, before it was painted. “We also will ask our fifth-graders to add their handprints to it. We want our fifth-graders to have pride and ownership in their school and it will be fun for them to see when they come back when they’re older.”

The volunteers from Williams Company also helped to assemble two gaga ball courts on Sandy Elementary’s playground, which were kept as a surprise to the school children.

At Midvale Elementary, Mark Miller Subaru volunteers helped to turn the school’s community garden into a kindness garden, which will feature buddy benches and a Little Free Library that will encourage book exchanges.

“We found with our community garden that it’s locked over the summer, which makes gardening difficult,” said Heidi Sanger, Midvale Elementary community school facilitator. “This way, we can have promote kindness and friendship as well as literacy year-round. It also will be a great space for students to find a calm, quiet place on the playground.”

Volunteers also restocked student emergency kits at Midvale Elementary as well as at Copperview Elementary.

CHG volunteers at Copperview also cleaned up the school’s community garden and school grounds as well as the faculty lounge with new appliances and a chair that features a massager, said Jenna Landward, Copperview Elementary community school facilitator.