Courtyard at Windermere Boulevard Elementary School to get a Makeover from 250 Volunteers from The Chapel
Dead shrubs, weeds and trees were removed from the courtyard at Windermere Boulevard Elementary School to transform it into a usable outdoor learning area, thanks to a generous donation of time and hard work from more than 250 volunteers from The Chapel in Getzville.
As part of the church’s Serve Day 2021, numerous volunteer work teams spent Saturday, Oct. 2 at the school and spread out to the surrounding neighborhood offering minor landscape work to residents who live near the school.
When the church announced its day of service, a former Windermere parent who attends The Chapel suggested the school district be considered as a recipient organization.
"Over the years, our courtyard has been a challenge to maintain. We have always envisioned our courtyard to be an extension of the library, or an outdoor classroom that can be used by all,” said Windermere Boulevard Principal Julie Flanagan. “This incredible gift from the Chapel Ministry has made our courtyard not only beautiful, but a space that kids and teachers WANT to go to. There is nothing better than being outside with a good book and learning together with classmates!"
Mrs. Flanagan and Jon Cook, executive pastor at The Chapel, had many discussions to plan for the improvements in the courtyard so classroom teachers and the librarian could hold class outdoors.
The courtyard work involved four teams of volunteers who removed overgrown landscaping and weeds, powerwashed the building walls and concrete and installed a shade sail. One of the teams was dedicated to running wheelbarrows from the exterior side entrance, down the hallway and into the courtyard. They carried brush to the dumpster and other supplies into the courtyard.
“We are coming out of a season of disruption and people are struggling, schools especially,” said Pastor Cook. “Our hope is to take a day and move some of our people to be a blessing to the school district who has taken care of kids.”
Identified by their green T-shirts, the volunteers were noticeable throughout the area. While several teams were at the school working, others knocked on residents’ doors within the area bordering the school to offer basic yard clean up. Work included mowing lawns, weeding, trimming, gutter cleaning - any work that could be done with a lawn mower, rake, trimmer and ladder.
The volunteers provided lunch for all workers, as well as an invitation to families from the neighborhood that they met during the morning’s work.