Beautification project transforms area high school

Volunteers show up for the third year in a row


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When students come back to Terry Parker High School Monday, it will look a whole lot differently than it did when they left Friday.  That is because on Saturday morning, hundreds of volunteers came out in the heat to work on a beautification project at the school.

From making new benches, to painting signs and letters for the school, to adding new plants in the courtyard, the heat did not stop any of the volunteers from this project.

"We joked that somehow we always pick the hottest day of the year. I think the forecast was to break 100 today," said Harold Stankard of GM Fidelity Investments.

Terry Parker High School Principal Scott Schneider says that the school is the top performing Title I high school in the county, but with renovations like this, he thinks it will be an even better learning environment for students.

"Academics is not just the books. It's not just what happens in the classroom. Our students have to feel safe and want to come to school.   The beautification project happening today helps the environment and the morale of the students," said Schneider.

"It really makes a difference psychologically on your attitude towards the day. Your attitude and the way you carry yourself and frankly, how you think about the future," said Stankard.

Fidelity sponsors the event. This is the third year in a row they have done the renovation project at Terry Parker High School.   This year they had help from other community partners to make it possible.

"We came here a year ago and came back a couple of times. To come back today and see the progress and the courtyard looks, murals on the wall, it really is inspiring," said Stankard.

Organizers were glad to know that so many people came to the event.