Learn more about SVB 30 Years | 30 Causes
Riddle: Where can 900 K-6 students travel across all 50 states to see a friendly cougar five days a week? Hint: This place also attracts the tiniest birds and butterflies with its trees.
Answer: Lincoln Elementary School in Mesa, Arizona
As part of Silicon Valley Bank's 30 Years | 30 Causes community service campaign, about one-third of our volunteer groups have chosen to do work at local elementary schools, and for good reason. Our team based in Tempe, Arizona enthusiastically volunteered to help children at a high-needs school in nearby Mesa. Lincoln Elementary School hosts more than 900 students and 96 percent of the children qualify for a free or reduced rate lunch program. As a team, our goal was to use this opportunity to give back in a way that would brighten childrens' days and make a lasting impact on their school.
Hands On Greater Phoenix partnered with us to coordinate the improvement projects for Lincoln's campus. Since aesthetic upgrades really increase the positive feelings about your environment, cleaning, painting, and landscaping were all a part of our work plan. Seventy-nine SVB volunteers gathered bright and early to clean desks and tables, power wash the building gazebo, and paint bright "safety areas" to keep children away from swinging doors or accident prone areas. With so many helpers for the day, we were able to breeze through these tasks with enough time to spend on more creative endeavors.
Prior to our arrival at Lincoln Elementary, there were already some interesting landmarks at the school. Namely, a giant painted map of the United States decorated the outdoor playground. While Mesa doesn't see much rainfall (less than 10 inches all year), wind and dust have a way of naturally eroding surfaces over time. Not to mention the number of shoes that walk, run, jump, slide, skid, and scoot over the mural's surface when the students are outside during and after school. We selected brighter colors and unexpected colors to repaint the mural, making it just like new.
Additionally, our landscaping efforts gave way to a newly preened garden just outside the school building. SVB volunteers dug up some squares of the landscape that were just hard dirt and sodded fresh soil for flowering shrubs, dwarf trees, and vines. These type of trees specifically create an ideal environment for hummingbirds and butterflies. Our hope is that the new garden will create a new place for students to learn and discover as they travel to and from school every day.
Lastly, we painted a mural inside of the school to boost morale and school spirit, showcasing the school's motto: "Cougar pride is nothing to hide." The community can be proud of its school, students, staff and parents who are collaborating with the community to continue to create a healthy, happy and now a little more vibrant learning environment for their kids. If everyone does a little we can all achieve more.
About 30 Years | 30 Causes
The "30 Years | 30 Causes" campaign was developed after Silicon Valley Bank crowd sourced ideas from its employees to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The company will host 30 community service events around the world near each of its offices in 2013. A listing of SVB's 30 Years | 30 Causes events, as well as photos, will be updated at www.svb.com/svb-30-years/ and www.facebook.com/SVBFinancialGroup. Follow @SVB_Financial's community service initiatives on Twitter with #SVB30. Points of Light is assisting SVB with the development and execution of these events worldwide.