Friday, August 25, 2000

Volunteers to 'spruce up' schools

CPS invites community to help prepare buildings, grounds for start of classes

By Andrea Tortora
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Volunteers are expected at Cincinnati Public School buildings throughout the city Saturday to “spruce up, set up and sign up.”

For information, call 475-7099 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., or call the nearest school. Volunteers can also report to a school between 9 a.m. and noon Saturday and offer to help.
        The event — from 9 a.m. to noon at all 75 schools — is billed as a chance for the community to help prepare school buildings and grounds for the start of classes.

        “There's plenty of work to be done and a lot of it will be outside on the grounds,” said Sally Warner, board of education member.

        Those who volunteer might find themselves cutting weeds, plant ing flowers, washing windows or picking up litter.

        At Woodward High, volunteers will work to reclaim the school's athletic fields from weeds and overgrowth.

        At Sayler Park Elementary, volunteers will construct a playground.

        Parent Cindy Carlton-Ford will bring her entire family to Clark Montessori School in Hyde Park.

        With three children — Hal, 15; Ware, 12; and Hollis, 7 — in three different schools, the family chose the school closest to home to help clean up.

        “Even if you don't have chil dren in the schools, this is about your neighborhood and making the place a cheerful, nice place for children to go,” Mrs. Carlton-Ford said.

        The event is also a chance for parents to meet one another and send a message to their children.

        “It's good for the kids to see that adults care about what their quote unquote work environment is like,” she said.

        This is the first year the district is having a clean-up day before the start of school. Previously, the event was a spring clean-up activity.

        Brewster Rhoads, with Cincinnatians Active to Support Education (CASE), said the clean-up is also a way for the community to get a sense of what goes on inside the city's schools.

        Those who volunteer will also be able to register to vote. The reminder to vote is one way the district and CASE hope to renew the community's commitment to schools.

        The district will seek a 6-mill levy in November that would generate $35.8 million if passed.

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