Community Joins Together To Beautify Schools

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It's a student's dream -- instead of homework, teachers dish out ice cream in abundance.

This dream will become a reality on Saturday, April 9 at Macky's Grill in Payson as teachers and administrators donate their time to raise funds to beautify area schools.

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Nine-year-old Allie Day, her mother, Cari, Dan Dillon, George Randall and Roy Haught join efforts in preparation for a community school beautification day. The first event will be "Tip A Teacher" at Macky's Grill April 9.

"We will be having an ice cream social and fun for the kids on the patio," said Macky's owner Cari Day who is on the Payson School Beautification Committee.

"The teachers and administrators wait tables and all the tips are donated to beautification. We will also have some great raffle prizes."

Day said the event, called Tip a Teacher for Beautification, was a huge success last year. "We had more teachers and principals helping than we had room for. Our wait station was packed. Sue Myers (Payson High School principal) and Roy Sandoval (Payson Elementary School principal) looked pretty cute in their wait aprons. This event is a blast."

There will be two serving times, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and in the evening from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Tip a Teacher for Beautification is a precursor to the second annual community-wide school beautification day planned for April 30.

Concerned about school grounds

The School Beautification Committee was formed two years ago by a group of business people, concerned parents and members of the school's Character Counts Committee. Day and Dr. Cynthia Booth are heading the task force this year.

"We believe the school beautification projects foster an environment that promotes learning and pride for students, faculty and the community as a whole," Day said.

The committee has raised funds, gathered donated supplies, and organized labor teams to improve landscaping and complete other beautification projects at Payson schools.

"I think that the appearance of the campus sends an important message to our students about our expectations," PHS principal Sue Myers said. "A run-down facility can give the students the impression that their education is not important. When all these people you don't even know show up to help clean and beautify a school, it's an amazing feeling. It shows that the work done at our schools is important to the community."

The committee has three goals in mind: Increase the attractiveness of local public schools, lower landscape water usage and reduce the need for exterior maintenance in a district with limited funding allocated to maintain school grounds.

Day enthusiastically credits volunteers for the success of last year's beautification day.

"We painted, installed artificial turf, set pavers, poured concrete, set boulders, all with the help of students, teachers, parents and community members.

"The beautification has truly been a community-wide effort," said Day. "Community members such as George Randall, Roy Haught, Dan Dillon and many, many others pitched in without a second thought to make the beautification possible."

Day said there is much left to be done.

Anyone wishing to assist in the upcoming school beautification projects, or to contribute supplies, labor or adopt a project for their group, church or business, can call Day at (928) 970-0241.

Send donations payable to PUSD, to: Beautification, C/O Macky's Grill, 1111 S. Beeline Highway, Payson, AZ 85541.

The second annual school beautification day will be April 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

"It's a day when teachers, parents, students and community members come together to make a difference," Day said.

"People sometimes say, well I've raised my children, so I don't need to help," Myers said. "But that doesn't happen in Payson."

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