Friday, May 25 , 2018, 1:08 pm | Fair 65º

 
 
 
 

Zodiac Aerospace Workers Help Santa Maria School ‘Give and Grow’

More than 100 volunteers complete projects at Ontiveros Elementary School

Volunteers from Zodiac Aerospace paint a mural at Ontiveros Elementary School in Santa Maria this week as part of the Give & Grow program. Click to view larger
Volunteers from Zodiac Aerospace paint a mural at Ontiveros Elementary School in Santa Maria this week as part of the Give & Grow program. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

From planting to painting, volunteers from a Santa Maria business spread out across Ontiveros Elementary School this week to transform the campus in one of several similar makeovers planned in the coming weeks.

The volunteers for Thursday's event primarily came from Zodiac Aerospace which provided the Give & Grow grant along with the labor to paint murals, plant low-maintenance landscaping, build benches and storage sheds, add colorful designs to playground asphalt, create an outdoor classroom and a Chumash garden, and install fence art. 

“Part of the project is to enhance the environment of the school to help the kids become more interested in their education, really take ownership of where they go to school, and realize this is their community where they come to learn every day with caring adults so they can soar toward the future,”  Assistant Principal Jeremy Hawke said.

He added that he learned about the Give & Grow projects through family members and friends along with students’ parents. 

After the campus was selected, school administrators submitted a wish list.

The volunteer efforts at the Ontiveros campus will be replicated by others at different schools later this month.

On April 22, Comcast California workers will undertake a beautification project at Adam School as part of the corporation's Comcast Cares Day. For several hours, Comcast employees and school volunteers will tackle multiple projects.

And on April 29, schools will be some sites where Serve Santa Maria volunteers complete assorted projects, including painting maps on playgrounds. Other projects that day will focus on parks and playgrounds.

On Thursday, more than 100 workers participated in the Ontiveros event, which included painting the school mascot, “Condors,” on walls and the stage, and putting colorful designs on playground asphalt for use by students.

Staff and teachers at Ontiveros Elementary School in Santa Maria excitedly view donated items from the Give & Grow program. Click to view larger
Staff and teachers at Ontiveros Elementary School in Santa Maria excitedly view donated items from the Give & Grow program. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

“A lot of them were surprised to see how many people showed up today and what they’re doing,” Hawke said of the students. “There’s stuff everywhere they go so they can see what’s being done. … It’s just been really great and positive for them.”

Give & Grow project leader Beverly Leroy said the volunteers were primarily employees of Zodiac — which manufactures interiors of airplanes. A small contingent from partner Starbucks also participated.

“It’s all about the children,” Leroy said. “Every year we do an event, called our Create event, and we come to a local elementary school and do a makeover. It’s a grant we do every single year to a school in our community.”

The grant funds approximately $25,000 in supplies in addition to the salaries paid to Zodiac employees who participate. 

This year’s Give & Grow grant provided kindergarten teachers supplies —  televisions, tricycles, playground toys — which they excitedly viewed.

“It’s like Christmas,” one said.

Principal Gayle Vyenielo said she was taken aback when she saw the items donated by Give & Grow. 

“It makes a really happy place even happier,” Vyenielo said of the volunteer project. “It inspires kids to want to come to school. It gives teachers another place to explore with an outdoor classroom. It’s just an incredible support by our community.

“I know they recognize that education is their future for their business here so they support us,” she added. “It’s amazing. It’s incredible.”

Leroy said she enjoys giving back to the community through the Give & Grow projects.

“And I love to see the joy in the children’s faces and the staff's, because they’re all so deserving,” she added. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

A volunteers from the Give & Grow program paints a mural at Ontiveros Elementary School in Santa Maria. Click to view larger
A volunteers from the Give & Grow program paints a mural at Ontiveros Elementary School in Santa Maria. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

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