Do kids notice flowers and landscaping around their schools? Does it make a difference when their school has curb appeal? John Ireland Principal Sharron Jackson would answer with a resounding yes. That’s why Jackson was elated when United Way connected the school with Texas Instruments employees for a day of service and beautification at the southeast Dallas campus.
Jackson, an avid gardener who knows her way around a planting bed, was outside on a recent Wednesday morning long before the volunteers arrived, identifying the donated plants and placing them along the front of the campus where she felt they might best be planted to thrive.
“The boxwood plants will make a great border at the front,” she said, as she placed the potted plants in the locations where she wanted volunteers to plant them.
As a bus carrying 35 TI volunteers pulled up to the school at 1515 N. Jim Miller Road, Jackson strode to the bus, boarded it and gave a hearty welcome to the volunteers, assuring them that her staff, students and parents would notice and be pleased by their work. Boasting a bit about the school’s accomplished Destination Imagination and chess teams, Jackson said they often visit other campuses for competitions. “And they notice when those schools’ yards have beautiful flowers and plants,” she said. “Know that the work you will do today is helping to fulfill a dream. There will be more than 610 kids who will notice that their school is pretty, too. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
The volunteers also helped label and shelve library books and created and hung posters with positive messages in the school hallways.
Paul Konrad, TI quality engineer, said community projects like the one at Ireland help to build support for the firm’s United Way campaign. He said volunteering helps employees see where help is needed, and lets communities know that there are people with resources out there who want to help.
“It was great to hear the principal talking about how the students view their school and that these are important places,” Konrad said. “It’s important for them to know as they grow up that you can always contribute to help others in need.”