Local elementary to get makeover from ISEA

Friday, April 16, 2010

REELSVILLE -- On Saturday, more than 200 Indiana college students who are members of the Indiana Student Education Association and other volunteers will join forces to remodel Reelsville Elementary.

"Some projects we hope to tackle include the remodel of the 1950s-era teacher's lounge, new paint in the gym, new paint to the outdoor basketball goals, some landscaping, repair to the school sign and some general housekeeping," said ISTA vice president and project coordinator Teresa Meredith.

The project, called Outreach to Teach, brings students together from across the state and a team of building and grounds workers from the University of Evansville that volunteers its time, service, planning and expertise.

"We could not do this program without the supervision and guidance from our colleagues at the University of Evansville," said Meredith. "The university will send a crew up the night before to get the project started and the team leaders will direct the students in the day-long event."

Constructed in 1954, the block-brick Reelsville Elementary school building is in need of a makeover, said principal Teresa Vapor.

Nearly 300 students attend the rural school.

ISEA selects one school each year for its outreach project. Reelsville Elementary was selected after former Reelsville student J.D. Miller suggested it get the renovation.

Miller, who served as president of ISEA, lost his battle with cancer in December 2009. A tree will be planted on the school grounds in honor of Miller's commitment to his school and his persistence to improve education.

"The scope of the work depends on how much fundraising we do beforehand," said Meredith.

On a recommendation from Superintendent Bruce Bernhardt, South Putnam School Board members voted to donate an additional $1,000 from the corporation's capital projects fund toward the effort.

"In all, student-led and other fundraising efforts have raised more than $8,000," said Meredith.

The Indiana Student Education Association is the student organization that comprises education majors from Indiana college campuses. It is an affiliate of the Indiana State Teachers Association.

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