September 20, 2011
About 100 volunteers spent Tuesday morning sprucing up a Hollywood school campus and reaching out to its young students.
With fresh paint stains on their T-shirts about 100 volunteers from UCLA spent Tuesday morning sprucing up Selma Avenue Elementary and speaking to students about what it takes to succeed.
The college volunteers had spent the day painting walls and filling-in murals then capped it off by motivating the 300 pre-kindergarten through sixth-grade students.
Selma Avenue Elementary School Principal Michelle Windmueller relished having such an opportunity for her students.
“This is the most unbelievable experience,” she said. “It’s so exciting. Here are kids who are just starting college. It brings elementary school and the college campus together.”
Dan Chikanov, a third-year psychobiology student, helped coordinate the effort. He said the UCLA students will benefit from the experience as much as the Selma students.
“Volunteering brings out the best in people,” he said. “We will talk about our academic successes through elementary, middle, and high school, and our study habits and personal strategy and how to strive to success.”
In addition to the classroom pep talks and a campus rally, Windmueller said the UCLA students’ beautification efforts will go a long way in helping the students feel good about their school environment, which will in turn, have a positive impact in the classroom.
“It does directly affect student achievement,” she said. “I can’t ask for anything better. It’s so generous of UCLA.”
City Council President Eric Garcetti recommended the beautification of Selma Avenue Elementary School through a partnership with UCLA and as part of his Los Angeles Neighborhood Dreams Initiative, said Marta Segura, Garcetti’s co-field director, who observed the volunteer efforts at Selma Elementary Tuesday.
The Los Angeles Neighborhood Dreams Initiative, or LAND, aims to identify and prioritize neighborhood projects in the community.