School's again well underway; read how parents and kids got the schools ready for fall

DAVID F. ASHTON - At Marcus Whitman Elementary School, Patrick Tran from the Cascade Pacific Council office Boy Scouts of America, neighbor Lesley McKinley, and Cub Scout Master Brian Pierce of the new Brentwood Darlington Pack #523, together cleaned the sidewalk and curb in front of the school. Volunteers were out in large numbers on Sunday morning, August 19, in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, taking part in a "Day of Service" for their schools.

Different groups were simultaneously pitching in to clean Marcus Whitman Elementary School, Woodmere Elementary School, and Lane Middle School.

At Whitman Elementary School, volunteers – including youngsters with newly-formed Brentwood-Darlington Cub Scouts Pack #523, which meets at the Brentwood-Darlington Community Center – were pulling weeds, and cleaning the entrance of the school.

In and outside Woodmere Elementary, volunteers were performing a variety of cleanup projects, said Parent Group President Erin Seitz. "Thanks to many parents – and as many as 30 volunteers from 'Pay It Forward Portland', which is an outreach of Mission Church – we're trimming hedges, repainting lines on the asphalt in the playground, cleaning up the different gardens and the school garden, and adding mulch to plants and flower beds."

"From my perspective, this helps create a community among our parents and helps them be involved in the school – while, at the same time, it brings in community members who don't have children in our school," observed Seitz with a smile. "And, of course, it helps increase school pride."

Meantime, cleaning inside the school was its own Principal, Katherine Polizos. "It's so very heartwarming to see all the volunteers come out here today," she told THE BEE. "Being a relatively small school, we really appreciate the 'extra hands' helping out!"

Dozens of volunteers were working on several projects at Lane Middle School, too – including digging out and preparing a path alongside the parking lot, to keep the returning students away from cars.

"We've got about 50 volunteers here today," revealed Lane's Vice Principal, Mike Rowell. "I'm grateful for the amazing groundswell of support that parents, neighbors, and organizations are giving our school today!"

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