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Ormond Beach Observer Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015 3 years ago

Pathways Elementary School hosts 'Make a Difference Day'

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by: Emily Blackwood News Editor

Elementary school students brought their school slogan to life Saturday morning by scraping gum and washing windows.  

Schools are typically quiet on Saturday mornings, with maybe the occasional spotting of a student or teacher playing catchup from the week before. With Bruno Mars blasting through the courtyard and conversations about gardening patterns filling up any extra space, it was not a typical Saturday at Pathways Elementary.

Simply because "it was dirty," Principal Jason Watson and the Parent Teachers Association decided to host its first Make a Difference Day Oct. 24 to take care of some maintenance issues at the school that had been pushed to the side during the busy first months of class.

"We saw a need," kindergarten teacher Amber Azzarello said as she helped prekindergarten teacher Joan Wheeler plant some Vinca flowers in one of the school's garden beds.

"We're trying to create a pattern because that's what I'm currently teaching my kids," Wheeler said. "I'm going to bring them out here next week and see if they can guess what the patterns are."

Of the over 50 students, parents and teachers that volunteered their time, 10-year-old Michael Nichols was more enthusiastic than most about his task: scraping gum off the sidewalk. In between soccer games, Nichols stopped by the school with his mom and PTA President MaryBeth Nichols to lend a helping hand at one of the most difficult chores with a smile and a purpose.

"Got it," Michael Nichols shouted after struggling with a rather large piece of gum for a few minutes. "I wanted to come volunteer today because I knew it'd be good for the school."

Principal Watson said the purpose of the event was not just to clean up the school, but to cultivate more attitudes like Michael Nichols’.

“It's just a matter of taking pride in our school," he said. "It's making sure we have a clean, safe place for kids to come learn."

With just 15 minutes before they had to leave for his next game, Marybeth Nicolas asked her son if he could help her spread a wheelbarrow of mulch.

"Sure mom,” he said while staring hard at the sidewalk, “just let me scrape one more."

The to-do list

  • Cut new timbers to replace rotten ones
  • Weed and plant new flowers
  • Wash the windows and doors
  • Scrape gum off the sidewalks
  • Take down the spider webs

Volunteer shout out

Thanks to all the students, parents, teachers and staff that volunteered this past Saturday. Pathways would like to send a special thank you to the following school organizations:

  • Pathways Student Council
  • Florida Future Educators
  • The Parent Teacher Association for sponsoring the event and supplying the tools

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