How ‘Bout Them Green Apples?
After numerous hours of planning, pruning and primping (not to mention the consumption of numerous baked apple goodies to get into the green apple spirit), our NELSON Teams have successfully concluded their respective Green Apple Days of Service. NELSON Teammates in Boston, Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia, along with countless volunteers from the local schools and surrounding communities, contributed to bestow students, teachers and parents with learning environments where students can inspire and innovate.
With help and donations from the surrounding communities, NELSON provided many additions to school interiors and exteriors including living plant walls, outdoor classrooms, white boards, wooden benches and even a butterfly garden. Along with parents and students, NELSON Teammates painted doors and murals, planted new vegetation throughout the learning environments, resurfaced damaged playground floors and created outdoor learning paths for sustainability.
Highlights from NELSON’s participation in the Green Apple Day of Service include:
·The Philadelphia Team used reclaimed wood from Independence Hall Park and a house in the Jersey Shore damaged by Hurricane Sandy to build benches that tell the history of the area.
·In order to compensate for having recess cut back as a means to maximize learning potential, teachers at the Learning Community Charter School in Jersey City, NJ came up with an innovative solution to increase the amount of time spent outside by utilizing exterior space as classrooms. To add beauty to the outside classrooms, the NELSON New York Team worked on adding green and overall color for everyone to use.
·In Chicago, NELSON Teammates provided theBenito Juarez Community Academy with a butterfly garden, planted new plants, designed the landscape of the area and will be completing an additional phase as part of next year’s efforts.
·Our Boston Team updated the St. Mark Community Education Program’s chalk boards by painting over the worn boards with IdeaPaint to create dry erase boards. An extensive amount of work went into this task because the original boards required priming and setting time.
In expressing his gratitude, Mr. Keith Adams, AP Biology Teacher at Chicago’s Benito Juarez Community Academy, also exemplified the Green Apple Day of Service’s overall purpose.
“Thanks again for all that you did for the Juarez community. As you may already know, other teachers have been inspired by this project to improve upon what they have set up in the Butterfly Garden. The Green Apple Day of Service means more to the Juarez Community than I can manage to say in a simple email. It has inspired. I am humbled by your investment and concerted efforts in improving the educational experience of the Juarez students. As I'm sure you learned [on Saturday], these kids absolutely deserve it.”
As did, Lauren Summers of Philadelphia’s Gen. George A. McCall School who was thrilled to see the final results from the Green Apple Day of Service.
“We are so grateful for what NELSON has done for our school grounds, our students and their families, and McCall's faculty and staff. Morale was boosted immediately upon seeing what a transformation our school gained, and it remains a highlight of arriving and leaving the school each day.”
John Ford, Board Member of St. Mark Community Education Program in Boston also shared his appreciation for the volunteers who transformed the way his school’s students learn.
“Our new "whiteboards" are a big hit both with our teachers and students. The students can now easily see what is written on the boards and the classrooms are just that much brighter and cheery. Thanks again to NELSON and their volunteers for a great job.”
NELSON would like to offer a special thanks to volunteers from our offices in Boston, Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia, the volunteers from our Green Apple Schools, St. Mark Community Education Program (SMCEP), Benito Juarez Community Academy, Learning Community Charter School and Gen. George A. McCall School and the members of our communities who provided donations and leant a helping hand to make this special event possible.
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