Roughly 40 volunteers helped paint various parts of Bowerman Elementary School Saturday morning. The project is part of Habitat for Humanity’s ongoing Neighborhood Revitalization effort in Woodland Heights.
The painting was made possible with the held of three groups; Habitat for Humanity, Courageous Church and Bowerman school officials.
For Habitat for Humanity and Courageous Church, this wasn't their first collaboration.
“Last year Courageous Church reached out to use because they were wanting to do a large project for their serve day,” said Melissa Adler, development associate for Habitat for Humanity. “We did a rally in the alley where we cleaned up alleys in Woodland Heights.”
So when the church reached out to Habitat again this year, Adler asked resident leaders of Woodland Heights for any ideas.
The idea that the volunteers could paint parts of Bowerman Elementary came quickly to Interim Principle Angela Valchev.
“Springfield Public Schools, with how many schools we have, reaches around 25,000 students,” said Valchev. “Because of this, the buildings in the district are on a painting rotation and so to get a school painted can take some time.
Valchev said the goal was to have the school's library painted. In addition to hosting Bowerman's collection of books, it's taken on the role of a collaborative space for the students to create, and a location for neighborhood citizens to meet. At times it's even served as a theater space for visiting performers.
“The neighbor views Bowerman as their community school and as a hub for the community too,” said Adler. “The people here just wanted to help take care of it because it is an important part of Woodland Heights.”
Adler adds that projects like this are great examples of how a neighborhood revitalization project can work.
“We have all these partners coming together to make a difference in a neighborhood, and in this case, we are helping 300 plus children who attend Bowerman Elementary,” said Alder.