Rancho Cucamonga, CA – Thanks to Inland Empire United Way (IEUW) and Hillside Community Church, West Randall Elementary School received a campus makeover that transformed the school grounds into a dynamic and visually stimulating learning environment that the students, parents, and faculty can be proud of. Nearly 200 community volunteers joined together on Saturday, November 4, 2017 and donated their time to complete a total of 10 projects including murals, garden, and playground transformations. The murals were themed with various academic, college readiness, and community and school values.
The 70 year-old school is located in the Fontana Unified School District and serves approximately 490 students in Preschool through 6th grade, the majority of who are from economically disadvantaged households and are English learners.
“Inland Empire United Way is committed to creating new possibilities throughout our community and helping underprivileged children succeed academically,” said spokesperson, Laurel Eriksen. “Our research and experience has shown us that students learn better in an environment where they are inspired, motivated, and where they feel proud and comfortable. This is why we continue to do these school makeovers. They are not just about making a school look nice, they have a specific goal of encouraging children so they can succeed in life.”
“I am super excited and my heart is filled with joy,” said Principal Tammy Stringer. “I haven’t seen anything like this, and I’ve been in education for 20 years. For West Randall, this is a big, big thing. We already have a loving campus, but all of this color just takes it to another level. It is going to continue to help build a positive culture with our students and our staff. We wouldn’t have been able to do this without Hillside Community Church and Inland Empire United Way.”
“We always talk about how it takes a village to raise a child, but it really means something when the community comes together. Our students don’t always get to see things like this,” remarked Randal S. Bassett, Superintendent of the Fontana Unified School District. “Our students see that people care about them, are investing in them, and are continuing to show them that they are important. It’s amazing what was done. It is truly a transformation that took place.”
Hillside Community Church Pastor Jeff Gokee spoke to the volunteers gathered at the start of the school makeover day and said “Days like this make me so happy because we are not just here as people who talk about the Bible and talk about Jesus, but we are actually people who get to live like Jesus. I think that’s what our communities need. They need Christians who say we don’t just believe in this God, but we believe in this Jesus that came down and came into the community and loved people and sacrificed for people. And that’s what we’re doing today. This stuff doesn’t happen because of one person, it happens because the church comes together and loves the community, cares about the community. We want more of this. We want to see this happen in Fontana, in Rancho Cucamonga, everywhere. For principal Tammy, who is in this every day, thank you for your hard work and the sacrifice you give every day. This is just a way for us to say ‘Hey we’re with you, we love you, we’re trying to be the best we can to be a neighbor and we want to continue to do that better.'”
Inland Empire United Way is committed to improving the lives and futures of children and families in need by investing in Education, Health, and Financial Stability. We are proud that contributions given local, stay local and an impressive 88% of every dollar is invested in direct program activities. By partnering with a network of local nonprofit organizations, United Way delivers critical services to our community, connects individuals in crisis with needed resources through 2-1-1, and increases the power of local charities by providing dedicated volunteers.www.ieuw.org
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