New plants and flowers greeted visitors as we arrived at Hudnall Elementary School on a warm September morning. The new flower beds, wood chips and plants were compliments of Home Depot, with volunteer assistance by Hudnall staff and parents who arrived at 7:00 a.m. to create new curb appeal at the school.
This forward idea was birthed with a phone call from Councilman Eloy Morales, who partnered with Home Depot, the Inglewood Police Department, and other business organizations to encourage parents, students, staff and the entire community to come out and make their school environment even greater! ICLEAN (Inglewood Community Litter Elimination Network Program) supplied gloves, trash bags, and pickers to clean the inside of the school.
It was great to see so many volunteers moving like clockwork from one project to the next. Immediately after the planting, they moved on to painting the poles, safety handrails and doors if any paint was left. “Painting the poles black will make everything pop when students arrive on Monday” says Hudnall Principal, Dr. Dawnyell Goolsby.
By the time the second coat of paint was going on, I heard a loud sound coming from the lunch area. It was a power washer being used to deep clean the outdoor lunch area where students dine each day. At some point, I also joined the team and painted a few poles myself at the risk of feeling left out of this amazing “community effort.” But I must admit it felt great being a part of Hudnall and working alongside them. It didn’t matter what anyone’s names or titles were. We all worked towards the same goal which created a family among us.
While we continued to paint, parents were busy disinfecting student lunch tables and seats. Everyone was so busy; they did not even notice the cameras snapping pictures. Their focus was on beautifying their school. Hudnall Second Grade Teacher Mrs. Margie Teitell, who has been teaching at the school for 22nd years said, “This was the greatest parent turnout ever! Students saw the new doors and poles painted and it was a fabulous moment for me. I love how we had so many community members to participate!”
As if cleaning and beautifying was not enough, there were students riding bikes through an obstacle course while Inglewood police department officers guided students through. As we approached the course, they were also giving students bike safety tips, handing out new helmets, and raffling some awesome toys. Councilman Morales, who was there working on garden beds and painting said, “Our student’s deserve to have a clean and beautiful place to go to school… every student does.”
Rounding out the morning, Inglewood Mayor James Butts arrived to provide additional support and lend a hand. Inglewood Unified School District Board President Melody Ngaue-Tuuholoaki thanked parents and the community for coming out and making a difference at their school.
As for Hudnall Elementary, they will be moving on to phase two; finishing up the painting of doors and sustaining the beatification for years to come!