Volunteers spruce up Marshall Elementary | SLIDESHOW

MARYSVILLE — To make sure their school was inviting in time for the start of the 2012-13 school year on Wednesday, Sept. 5, several of the students, staff members, families and surrounding community members of Marshall Elementary and the Marysville Cooperative Education Program spruced up the school’s grounds on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

Marshall Elementary Principal Kelly Sheward expressed her appreciation to the school’s Co-op and PTSA for coordinating the four-hour work party, to compensate for the impact of funding shortfalls faced by the Marysville School District.

“Due to state and federal budget cuts, the district hasn’t been able to do everything that it would have liked, so it’s great that the community can come together to donate its manpower like this,” Sheward said. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and this way we’re welcoming our kids the right way on their first day. Regardless of how much money there is, we’ve got to step up and do what needs to be done for them.”

Sheward was likewise gratified to see so many students turning out to take part in the cleanup, just as Jessica Callagan made sure to thank all the area businesses that contributed money and materials to help take care of the campus’ landscaped areas.

Callagan, who serves as public relations co-chair for the Co-op, praised Bourne Orthodontics for its $200 monetary contribution, as well as Fred Meyer for offering a 25 percent discount on any supplies the work party needed, and Pacific Topsoil for discounting its mulch from $25 a yard to $10 a yard, of which the work party purchased 10 yards.

Savvy Plants and Sunnyside Nursery each donated plants, with Sunnyside providing more than 50 plants and garden beds, while Marshall Elementary student Brooke Martinson’s father, an employee of Ron Nobach Trucking, helped secure the use of a truck for the mulch.

“We thought we were going to have to send as many pickup trucks as we could to pick up and transport the mulch,” Callagan said. “The donated truck saved us manpower that we could focus on the school. The district has been mowing the grass, but hasn’t been able to tend to the flower beds, so we’ve been weeding and cleaning it up to add to its curbside appeal. I’m so glad that so many businesses and members of our community have stepped up, because otherwise it would have been just us.”

The work party that assembled for the day’s labors was not inconsiderable, since it consisted of 10 school staff members, another 15 parents and other adults, and at least 20 children.

“We wanted to make it better than it used to be,” said Marshall Elementary fourth-grader Alex Price, in between shifts of shoveling mulch into wheelbarrows. “I also like that we get free food,” he laughed, noting the table of snacks and the discounted pizza from Papa John’s.

Kevin Faulkner, one of Price’s classmates, urged his peers and the grownups in his hometown alike to participate in such events.

“Get out and be active,” Faulkner said. “If we didn’t do this, the school grounds would be dirty and gross, and kids wouldn’t want to come here.”

Levi Jones graduated from Marshall Elementary this spring, but the sixth-grader was still willing to come back and work up a sweat for his alma mater, since his sister is heading into Hank Palmer’s fifth-grade class at the school this year.

“I hope his sense of humor is as great for her as it was when he taught me,” Jones said. “When a school is clean, it lifts your spirits and you’re able to learn better. Marysville is a very good town for kids to learn in.”


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