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Students and College Mentors Clean Abandoned Park

SPEF kicks off Park Rebuild Project Saturday

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Stamford, CT | Added on April 11, 2015 At 10:00 PM

"We're painting the walls to make the park look a bit better, make it look more colorful, add a little bit of color to it basically." 

A former abandoned playground and park in Stamford's south end is getting a fresh new makeover thanks to the clean up efforts of elementary school students and their college mentors. 

"It should have more color, should look a lot more cleaner, have more flowers and more greenery." 


"The walls were full of graffiti," said Newfield Elementary School principal Lisa Saba-Price. "It's going to be bright and cheerful and it's just going to be nice little haven for the kids in this community to play in." 

The Stamford Public Education Foundation kicked off its Park Rebuild Project Saturday morning, a culminating project that brings together about 30 students from UConn Stamford and over 20 students from Hart Magnet Elementary School and Newfield Elementary School in acts of community service. 

"If they start very young with appreciating certain things, they're going to grow up with that forever," said Steven Kolenberg, Stamford Board of Representatives and UConn student. 

"There's a team over there that's doing planting, drilling, a team right here doing basketball lines," said Stamford Public Education Foundation program manager Andrea Lopez. 

It's part of the SPEF service-learning program that enables UConn students from two courses entitled "The Family School Partnership" and "Low-Income Families" to serve as mentors to more than 90 fifth graders at Hart Elementary and 87 fifth graders at Newfield Elementry. 

"During weekly mentoring sessions they talk about topics related to community service, leadership as well as civic engagement," said Lopez.  

"Our mentors discussed the park with us and she said it was a good chance to come and help the community and learn what is best for the community in case you want to do that some day," said one student. 

"If you can get them to like stuff like this, they're going to like it when they're my age too," said Kolenberg. "So it's all watering that seed, letting it germinate and let it bloom into a beautiful flower of community service." 

The park is located on 11 Cedar Street. 


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