ASHVILLE – Take a look around Ashville Elementary School – inside and out. When teachers and students return for the new school year, they will notice a change, a good change, thanks to a lot of hard work from volunteers last Saturday.

Kaleb Allen, a staff engineer at Honda, is chairman of Honda Young Professionals. He said they focus on career, community, commerce and general development of their associates.

“We do events like this throughout this area,” Allen said. “Honda is committed to helping our five-county area and St. Clair County is a huge part of that. It brings great pride to me to see all of these Honda associates and my friends here today. Not only are we able to do what we’d love to do outside of Honda, we’re able to do it as Honda, as associates, as one team. We want to have an impact on our future. These kids do represent us in future years and will take over our jobs and make our society. They will change our culture that we live in today. That is very important.”

Lisa Glasgow, principal at Ashville Elementary School, said it is important for students at AES to have a safe, clean, inviting environment in which to learn.

“The projects we have selected today will help us accomplish all of those,” Glasgow said. “There will be work done at the playground, especially the depth of the bark to make it safer for children in case they fall. Cleaning will be done in classrooms, and especially the restrooms. Painting is being done to make this school a welcoming environment. We want our students to know that we have gone that extra mile for them. We want to show the parents and community that we care and want people to come in and be part of it.”

Glasgow said they have Honda workers, parents and teachers volunteering their time, and it gives them many extra sets of hands to accomplish these projects that may have gone unfinished.

“We really do appreciate the partnership with Honda Manufacturing,” she said. “

Janelle Adams is a fourth-grade reading and Alabama history teacher at AES. She is starting her third year at the school. She said it is amazing that a company like Honda would be willing to financially support them and also send out volunteers on a Saturday to give of their time to help spruce up the looks of AES.

“There is no way our county school system could afford to pay this many people to come here as laborers,” Adams said. “These volunteers came up here on the Saturday before Father’s Day. They volunteered their time, and I really do not think many people understand that is crucial for something like this to happen. You need people who are willing to donate their time. It is very touching to me to see the support and the blessing of these workers here today to help us get this done. Otherwise, we could not do it by ourselves.”

Jesse Clark, a new teacher at Ashville Elementary School, said it means the world to them to see all the volunteers give of their time and energy.

“They are putting forth the effort in building this community,” Clark said. “It is really awesome to see them all come together and help us get our classrooms ready and provide this environment for the kids.”

Wes Adams is with Honda. He said this is just part of Honda’s core values to come out into the community and help like this.

“This is a large event, but just one of 10 others that have been ongoing this week,” Adams said. “It means a lot to us to go out and give of our time and just lend a helping hand to make the community a better place.”

Adams said they were primarily attempting to put down 100 gallons of paint and spread 150 yards of mulch. He noted there were 23 different projects going on at the school in one day.

“It is taking all of these people to get it done,” he said. “We have about 60 people here today helping. That includes teachers, volunteers, members of Arbor Baptist Church in Pell City and the associates from Honda.”

 

Reach Gary Hanner at ghanner@thestclairtimes.com.

 

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