Marysville's Shoultes Elementary playground spruced up in time for start of school

MARYSVILLE — Shoultes Elementary's playground got a touch-up just in time for the start of the school year, thanks to the C&D Zodiac Aerospace company.

Approximately 30 company employees from Marysville and California converged at the school Sept. 3 to lay down fresh coats of paint on the blacktop, re-gravel the track and refurbish the baseball dugouts, with funds from the company's Give and Grow foundation.

"The painting was part of the Peaceful Playgrounds project," said Lisa Bliven, a human resources manager for C&D Zodiac Aerospace in Marysville. "The kit includes stencil patterns that we can lay down on the blacktop, which school staff can be trained to use to develop games that emphasize sharing and conflict resolution."

Bliven noted that the track was in need of its raking and leveling because it was in terrible condition, much like the nearly collapsed dugout structures. She added that C&D Zodiac contributed approximately $19,000 in supplies for the project, not including how much the volunteer labor for the all-day work crew would have cost.

Bliven explained that Give and Grow is devoted to enhancing children's education and is driven by company employees' ideas for what sorts of projects they should take on in the community, as well as how they should go about raising funds for them.

"They've come up with everything from poker tournaments to mustache contests to help out local schools," said Bliven, who pointed out that the company's corporate vice president, Jude Dozor, frequently makes trips up from Huntington Beach, Calif., to pitch in with the sweat off his own brow during these days' labors.

California employees such as Dozor and Phil Dickson were joined by Shoultes Elementary students like Tycen and Kayla Johnson, who helped their dad, Quinn, place the stencils and lay down the paint. Quinn Johnson is an engineer at C&D Zodiac who helped create the blueprints for the playground improvements.

"I'm excited about school, said Tycen, a third-grader who enjoys math, as he ran his paint roller over the pavement Sept. 3. "I wish it was starting today."

Cynthia Raynor, vice president and general manager of the company's Marysville branch, believes such Give and Grow projects improve student learning and make children more likely to achieve success as adults.

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