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Spending summer sprucing up a school

July 13th, 2011 12:33 am by Gary B. Gray

Free labor!? You can’t beat that.
A group of more than 40 talkative but constantly moving youngsters rolled and brushed their way along the Cherokee Elementary School library walls Tuesday, providing them with a feeling of accomplishment and giving the school a sprucing up it may not otherwise have been able to afford.
The chattering workers are members of Mountain Christian Church in Joppa, Md., who are staying at Milligan College during their stint of goodwill in the area. The independent, non-denominational church partners with Christ in Youth, headquartered in Joplin, Mo., to build relationships with others by lending a hand.
Addie Richardson, 14, scratched at the yellow paint on her hands as she explained why the trip from Maryland was a special one.
“We want to help others,” she said. “We want to serve others and not for selfish reasons. We feel happy about this, and we don’t expect any reward.”
The school’s library will be transformed from a drab, off-white color to a combination of light blue, bright yellow and red, and the job is expected to be complete today.
“It’s going to be a nice facelift,” said Cherokee Principal Mary Nell McIntyre. “Our PTA has two fundraisers each year, and a big part of this one is going to fix up the library as well as buy some new books. Because the school system is undergoing so much construction right now, we thought this would be a great opportunity,”
Blake Park, with Mountain Christian Church, said the group has been staying in Milligan dormitories.
“We’re looking to form some good relationships while we’re here,” Park said. “While at Milligan, we’ve had some worship services and enjoyed some games. On Friday, we’ve got a fun day planned and we’ll be going to a local state park.”
Church member Sterling-Dante Dunmore said it was his second trip to East Tennessee.
“It makes me feel like a greater Christian, and we get to bond with people,” he said.
Cherokee Elementary School was constructed in 1950.
Parent volunteers also give many hours of hard work helping in many areas to help the school run smoothly — in the classrooms and the media center, on field trips, Reflections, Scholastic Literacy Partners, Race to Reading, Teacher Appreciation, Character Counts, the contingency fund and month

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