Some raking, planting painting, and even a new playspace can make a huge impact in revitalizing a school as was seen by the students and staff at William D’Abate and Mary Fogarty Elementary Schools as Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island’s (BCBSRI) third annual company-wide day of community service provided grant funding and hundreds of volunteers to local schools.
Approximately 700 BCBSRI associates, including the company president and CEO Peter Andruszkiewicz and the executive leadership team, participated in the Blue across Rhode Island Day of Service on October 2. In honor of the company’s 75th anniversary, this year’s community initiative focused on Rhode Island children.
In addition to providing volunteers, BCBSRI donates a $5,000 grant to each organization towards the purchase of supplies for the volunteer project.
In Providence, volunteers supported projects at D’Abate and Mary Fogarty Elementary Schools, Highlander Charter School and Meeting Street School.
At Fogarty, volunteers transformed a blacktop area into a play structure and painted the back wall of the school.
“The students and faculty at Fogarty are touched by the generosity and compassion that our friends at BCBSRI showed us on October 2,” said Principal Courtney Monterecy. “The children were so excited to see the new play structure going up. They kept saying, ‘Look, they’re building a park!’ Fogarty has never had a playground before and the children are very appreciative.”
A team of volunteers at D’Abate redesigned the school garden in front of the school¸ installed several new cedar garden boxes and created stone walkways, according to Principal Brent Kermen. Another team of volunteers cleaned the school courtyard and another group painted the school library, hung new shades and brought “much needed life back to our once-vibrant library,” Kermen said.
“Team leaders Ron Clark and John Auger were also very instrumental in the planning and work efforts around this grant-funded Day of Service. Many thanks to our strong community partner Olneyville Housing Corporation for designating William D’Abate Elementary as the recipient of this particular grant,” Kermen added.