Forty-three San Diego County schools received a make-over just in time for the beginning of school thanks to the combined efforts of over 1800 volunteers from over 35 local churches – including the Rock Church.
Some 300 Rock Your City volunteers gave a face-lift to six San Diego County schools for the Fourth Annual School Beautification Day, an event organized by the Urban Youth Collaborative, a non-profit organization that connects churches with public and private schools in San Diego.
Workers from Rock Church Point Loma visited Gompers Preparatory Academy, Lincoln High School, Porter Elementary School, and Horace Mann Middle School while those from Rock Church North County adopted Cesar Chavez Middle School in Oceanside and Knob Hill Elementary School in San Marcos.The volunteers accomplished a variety of tasks at the different sites including painting, weeding, trash pick-up and window washing.
Volunteers at the Gompers site were greeted with a rousing rendition of “Sing Your Praise to the Lord” over the school public announcement system along with a message of heartfelt thanks from Vince Riveroll, Director of Gompers Preparatory Academy.
Both the inside and outside of the Gompers campus received new coats of paint. Helpers applied over 65 gallons of paint to the interior of six classrooms, two locker rooms, the exterior of 12 classrooms, and the stucco of five main buildings. In addition, Team Leader Parker Piner and his group of volunteers: Kenny Kempf, Dennis Aquino, Ian Villalta, Pasquale Brunetto, and Josiah Simpson built an exterior reading bench at Gompers. The small carpentry project, said Piner, which took about five hours of labor, will be used as a reading bench by the students.
This is work, said Riveroll, that would have most likely been done by teachers, parents and other staff on weekends, if it had been done at all.
Gompers has come a long way since 2004 when he took on the mantle of leadership at the school, according to Riveroll. Back then the school was a “prelude to prison. Now it’s a highway to college.”
The school just graduated its second senior class since adding grades 9-12 in 2009. For two years in a row, the school has had 100 percent graduation of its seniors as well as 100 percent of its students accepted to a two- or four- year colleges.
He said the work completed by the Rock Your City volunteers affirms the positive changes at the school and encourages further improvement. It shows that someone in the outside community cares enough to support the school’s goal which is to give students and their families hope for the future.
"I thank the Rock for being here today,” said Riveroll. “The Rock Church volunteers are such a blessing. This project means a clean, safe environment ready for the kids to learn when the fall season begins,” he said.
At Mann, Lincoln and Porter schools, Rock Your City volunteers trimmed plants, pulled weeds, scrapped up gum, power washed buildings, and cleaned windows, courtyards and walkways. North County Rock Your City volunteers gave Cesar Chavez Middle School in Oceanside a good cleaning, sweeping stairwells, cleaning classroom desks and computer monitors and washing over 100 windows. At Knob Hill Elementary School in San Marcos, workers planted and mulched five flowerbeds, trimmed 16 trees and renovated the physical education area and playground. Fifteen tons of mulch was used on the school ground and hillsides.
"To live life as a Christian you need to live the Word of God and help others. The Rock Church has a motto to be a ‘Do Something’ church and show the community that we are here to serve," said Cody Churan, a Navy sailor at Naval Medical Center San Diego. He volunteered at Gompers as a site leader.
“When the kids come to school, they will see that others in the community care about them and their school. They will feel a sense of pride and be motivated to learn,” he said. Churan has attended the Rock Church since 2009. He also volunteers each Sunday as a Rock Kid's Ministry Large Group Leader for grades 1 through 5.
To Pasquale Brunetto, a member of the bench project team, the work done at Gompers and other schools has a special significance. "We built and installed this bench to leave behind for the students,” said Brunetto. “God is always being taken out of the schools, but we are putting him back in with our service and this reminder that we were here."
For more information about Rock Your City Events, visit www.sdrock.com/ministries/communityevents.