Elementary school is a time many of us look back on fondly. Memories of early childhood friendships, field trips, and the excitement of learning new things for the first time remain with us for a lifetime and help to inform our overall educational experience.
That was certainly true for Coby King, a former student of Oakland Park Elementary who wanted to give back to the institution that gave so much to him. He wanted to ensure current and future generations of students could look back on their time at Oakland Park Elementary with the same joyful memories he now cherishes.
The Inspiring Story of the Painted Rock Entryway Project
“The school means so much to me. I still live just a few blocks away, so I’m still very connected”, Coby said.
As part of the school’s advisory council, he saw an opportunity to help improve the school’s campus for current and future students as well as the dedicated faculty who help empower young minds. By beautifying the school’s entryway, King hoped to encourage young learners and show the Oakland Park Elementary School staff and faculty their hard work and dedication is appreciated.
“We saw a need for a beautification project, so I decided to spearhead this Painted Rock entryway project,” King said, “I connected with the Oakland Park Volunteer Corps. and the amazing people at our local Kiwanis Club who were happy to help us make this a reality. It was definitely a team effort, utilizing everyone’s strengths to make it happen.”
Students and Volunteers Create Uplifting Mosaic Entryway
The Painted Rock Entryway Project created a mosaic of beautifully colorful stones to line each side of the central entrance pathway. Volunteers cleared the area of shrubs and debris and laid down artificial turf to act as a base layer for the stones which were carefully placed to showcase each participant’s artwork.
Each stone was hand painted, many by a current student at Oakland Park Elementary school who were encouraged to get creative while sharing positive, uplifting messages for students, faculty, and visitors. The project also provided a creative, therapeutic outlet for students. Some of whom used the opportunity to memorialize and process the grief of losing a classmate in a tragic accident earlier this year.
The beautification project at Oakland Park Elementary School is ongoing, and King hopes to inspire similar projects throughout our community and beyond. Assistant Principal Ms. Tranya Brown-Curry expressed interest in continuing to improve the school’s campus for both staff and students, including potentially creating a courtyard area for all to enjoy.
“We brought a light to the path of education for students here,” Coby King said, “I’d love to see others join in on the project. We’re definitely looking forward to connecting with other local spaces or businesses for future projects.”
Getting Involved with Future Volunteer Projects in Oakland Park
If you are an Oakland Park Elementary School parent, make sure to take a moment to appreciate the painted rocks lining the entryway on your next visit to your child’s school. We also encourage our readers to consider joining the Oakland Park Volunteer Corps. or supporting the local Kiwanis Club. Both organizations are a fantastic way to give back to the community and help enrich the lives of everyone living and working in Oakland Park. They also provide great opportunities to meet your neighbors and form lasting friendships and connections with people you otherwise would never meet. Just a few hours of your spare time can go a long way.
If you are interested in learning more about the Oakland Park Volunteer Corps., which currently stands at 250 members, contact Steven Mattair, City of Oakland Park Recreation Program Manager at email@example.com. Volunteers will have opportunities to participate in a variety of events and projects, including neighborhood clean ups, future school projects, youth athletic programs, and more.