Principals Make Memories at Community Service Day

Conference News Online
March 2012

One hundred principals from across the country on Wednesday, March 21, donned green sweatshirts, mixed cement, and landscaped gardens as they accepted the mission of building a playground at Hawthorne Elementary School in Seattle.

NAESP’s 4th annual Community Service Day, sponsored in partnership with Landscape Structures Inc., focused on building an inclusive play structure to provide play opportunities for all children at Hawthorne, a school of 300 students with a 15 percent special needs population.

As the principals arrived in yellow school buses, students, Principal Sandra Scott, and other school personnel welcomed the eager workers. Shovels, wheelbarrows, and rakes were distributed quickly, and two teams started on landscaping projects. The third group began assembling the play structure. Several parents worked side by side with the volunteers to get the job done.

After working hard, principals ate lunch in the school all-purpose room—a bright room filled with an abundance of creative student art work! Tears filled many eyes as the Hawthorne Elementary Chorus of 100 students sang out with pride a message about the importance of education to their future. As the principal work crews left, the school’s students passed out homemade thank you notes and cheered the principals on with an enthusiastic thank you.

What memories will live in the hearts of the volunteer principals?

  • A feeling that they made a difference;
  • The enjoyment of spending time with other principals;
  • The faces of the thankful students;
  • The voices of exuberant children;
  • The stories of special needs being met through play;
  • The commitment of a team of community, business, and education leaders; and
  • A swarm of principals in green sweatshirts working together on a sunny day in March in Seattle.

Frances Yearwood, Principal, Elwood Kindle Elementary, Pitman, New Jersey