Volunteers spruce up area schools

Every October the New York Cares organization sends thousands of volunteers to do community service by sprucing up public schools.
This year 110 public schools from all five boroughs participated in the cleanup performed by over 7,000 volunteers on Saturday, October 23.
Meghan Moloney, coordinator from New York Cares said, “It’s part of a large day of service. It’s a big day of commitment to public schools to make sure that they’re bright, clean and great for the kids.
“Karen Caroccio is our parent coordinator at P.S. 2 this year. She did all the legwork, she’s great,” said Moloney.
Diane Whitaker is a social worker from Long Island City High School who works with teen parents. She helped students paint a large mural on the first floor of P.S. 2. Their group is called “Life Leaders.”
Whitaker explained that teen parents who volunteered were provided childcare for the day, “so that they could go out into the community and serve public schools.”
“We came out to give back to the community. It’s all about teamwork. We know it’s the right thing to do for the community,” Whitaker said.
Erin is a student and teen mother who attends Long Island City High School who said, “I think it’s nice to give back to the community and it’s good to help out because there are not many people willing to.”
A team of mothers whose children attend P.S. 2 volunteered by cleaning the teachers’ lounge, painting bookcases, and a big mural to show their appreciation for teachers.
Susan Vittoria, whose children attend the school, said, “I just think it’s important to give back to the school because they [the children] learn a lot here.”
“The teachers give a lot to our children. We hope they’ll come in and be surprised. We want to give back to the teachers for them giving to our children,” Vittoria added.
Any public school can apply for the program. Volunteers were not limited to public schools. Representatives from corporate companies, civic, and alumni groups also volunteered.
Teachers and children all over New York will return to their schools and classrooms with a new look, equipped with freshly painted bookcases, cleaner facilities, and vibrant murals on every floor.
Volunteers were rewarded with pizza and refreshments.
To find out more about, or to make donations to, New York Cares, visit www.newyorkcares.org.

More from Around New York