It was a successful community turnout for our three schools in the Alpha Public Schools network. We partnered with a local organization, Beautiful Day, to tackle campus renovation projects. Among those in attendance were Alpha students, staff, Beautiful Day volunteers and members of the East San Jose community.
A lot were accomplished in two days. Some of the renovation projects included creating a mural at Alpha: Bianca Alvarado Middle School. The mural showcases Panchito the Owl ready to take flight while embodying all five of Alpha’s core values: joy, relationships, integrity, leadership and excellence. The artist behind the mural is Kim Bartel, an art teacher at Leigh High School. She even brought along several of her students to help.
The mural done at Alpha: Jose Hernandez Middle School showcases Pepe the Penguin going into space as a homage to astronaut, Jose Hernandez, who was assigned to the crew of Space Shuttle mission STS-128 which launched in 2009.
The third mural at Alpha: Cindy Avitia High School showcases Javier the Jaguar. The mural artist, Alpha’s very own art teacher Rebecca Recco, said students provided the inspiration for the design and placement.
“This mural is located in what’s known as the students’ table area,” Recco said. “This is where students hangout, perform, share news, eat, rest or just seek solitude on a tough day. This was the inspiration behind creating a mural of a jaguar in its habitat, peering out at visitors. I included the monarch butterfly as a tribute to Cindy Avitia, and two smaller monarchs moving toward the classrooms to represent those who will carry her message into the future.”
Volunteers at the middle schools also had a hand at helping repaint the blacktop lines.
Mr. Min invited his homeroom class to join in on the fun. They got their hands dirty laying down mulch, painting murals, and much more.
Others helped renovate a teacher workroom by adding tables and chairs. The workroom nursery now features a newly painted wall with the saying, “My star in the sky.”
Two students, in particular, got creative and turned an old worn out sign into a piece of functional art. They came up with the concept of creating a chalkboard for public service announcements while adding their own artistic flair. What a great way to get the word out about important news!
And of course, a beautification project wouldn’t be complete without work in the garden.
Over 700 volunteers helped. Alpha Public Schools would like to thank all of the volunteers and Beautiful Day staff who took part. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Emma Karpowicz is the assistant principal at Alpha: Cindy Avitia High School, where she oversees systems around student culture as well as works with the math department to improve teacher development. Opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside. Want to submit an op-ed? Email pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org.