Groups gather to clean up Kelly School

You’ll be amazed by the number of organizations’ volunteers who pitched in to groom this school in the Lents neighborhood …

In front of Kelly School in outer East Portland, volunteers put down bark dust, and clean out one of the school’s gardens.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Just before school began for the year, parents, neighbors, and members of several organizations converged on Kelly School in the Lents neighborhood on Saturday morning, August 24, to tidy up the grounds.

About 90 adults – and as many as 30 kids – pitched in by raking, trimming, and cleaning the area around the school.

Imago Dei Community volunteer organizer Jennifer Jackson spends a moment with Kelly School Principal Amy Whitney.

“This is an amazing gift for my school and my students, who will ‘feel the love’ of this outer East Portland community, whose volunteers are getting everything ready for them and helping teachers to begin another school year,” smiled Kelly School Principal Amy Whitney

“Yesterday, the whole schoolyard was full of weeds; and now it’s all fresh and clean, and it feels like we’re offering our students a great environment in which they can grow and learn,” observed Whitney. “Perhaps not all of our students really notice the work that goes into it, but I’m sure that they will feel the difference.”

Doing gardening along the side of the school are Alli Dahlgren, and her kids, James and Norah.

A large contingent of volunteers came from the Imago Dei Community as part of their “Love Portland” commitment. “They’ve been coming out here for more than five years to help us,” remarked Whitney. Lents-based Cascade PDX congregation members were also on hand, as were volunteers from GDP Architects – as well as some 20 students from Reed College, the school principal told East Portland News.

After a morning of hard work, volunteers are treated to stacks of pizza for lunch.

“Having our school receive all this love, from all over the East Portland community – well, it’s super energizing, I really is,” Whitney added as she helped coordinate the volunteers.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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