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Volunteers build benches, picnic tables for Taft Elementary in Mesa

Taft Elementary cleanup.png
Posted at 6:15 PM, Jan 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-20 20:26:44-05

MESA, AZ — Nearly 40 volunteers spent the day Thursday at Taft Elementary School in Mesa planting trees, building benches and picnic tables, and creating a "sensory pathway" for students to help beautify the school and the school experience.

The upgrades were part of a partnership between The Home Depot Foundation and HandsOn Greater Phoenix.

"It's all for the kids. It's for the kids to have places to sit. With the trees, just to make our campus; it's pretty already but even a little bit more," said Principal Kim Corbett, noting that these seemingly small upgrades have a huge impact on the school.

"With our calming room, giving our kids a spot to relax, reset, and get back to learning as quick as possible."

One of those who was volunteering Thursday was Rhonda Oliver, the CEO of HandsOn Greater Phoenix.

"We don't have sort of the financial support and tax base for schools — especially Title 1 schools like we're at today," she said. "We give them an opportunity to have things that they wouldn't otherwise have. Being able to have these extras and have students know that volunteers in the community care about them I think is important."

"I think it'll make the school better," said one student.

"It makes the school look nicer and it makes the school look funner. And the kids would like it a lot, especially the little ones," said Karen M., who is a sixth-grade student.

The Home Depot Foundation partnered with nonprofits in 40 cities across the country to do service projects like the one in Mesa.