Austin Texas Stakes Renovate Local Elementary

Contributed By Barbara Walker Murdock, Church News contributor

  • 21 October 2016

Volunteers from two Texas stakes help transform a 60-year-old school by planting trees, cleaning and landscaping areas, painting, and erecting a pergola to cover an outdoor classroom.  Photo by Lisa Shephard.

Article Highlights

  • More than 800 volunteers from two stakes in Austin, Texas, helped transform a 60-year-old school by planting trees, painting, and donating books.

“I worry I am going to wake up and realize this was just a dream,” said an elementary principal after 800 volunteers from two Texas stakes devoted an October morning to carrying out 19 projects on his campus.

The 60-year-old school transformed as workers planted trees, cleaned and landscaped areas, and erected a pergola to cover an outdoor classroom. Weathered outdoor stages and picnic tables took on new life with sanding and repainting. Volunteers also served indoors, assisting teachers and repainting the faculty lounge.

Two stake Primaries far exceeded the goal of collecting 2,000 books. The morning of the project, they presented the principal with over 5,700 books. Most of the students do not speak English in their homes, and over 90 percent are economically disadvantaged. The Primary-sponsored book drive will allow each child to take home about eight books.

This marks the third year the Austin Texas Stake has carried out a service project renovating a local school. When the stake split earlier this year, leaders decided the newly created Cedar Park Stake would share in this year’s endeavor.

As one teacher wrote in a letter of thanks to project director, Scott McCullough, “Your volunteers have brought a glimpse of how great this nation still is by making Wooten a school that shines to the surrounding community and our families.”

The North America Southwest Area Presidency designated October for a “Fall Into Service” Initiative. Wards and stakes were directed to select projects and encourage participants to register online at JustServe.org.

More than 800 volunteers from two Texas stakes help transform a 60-year-old school by planting trees, cleaning and landscaping areas, painting, and erecting a pergola over an outdoor classroom. Photo by Lisa Shepard.

Volunteers presented the principal with 5,700 books. The Primary-sponsored book drive will allow each child to take home about eight books. Photo by Lisa Shepard.

More than 800 volunteers from two Texas stakes help transform a 60-year-old school by planting trees, cleaning and landscaping areas, painting, and erecting a pergola over an outdoor classroom. Photo by Lisa Shepard.

More than 800 volunteers from two Texas stakes help transform a 60-year-old school by planting trees, cleaning and landscaping areas, painting, and erecting a pergola over an outdoor classroom. Photo by Lisa Shepard.

More than 800 volunteers from two Texas stakes help transform a 60-year-old school by planting trees, cleaning and landscaping areas, painting, and erecting a pergola over an outdoor classroom. Photo by Lisa Shepard.