Future Teachers Volunteer, Makeover Northwestern Elementary - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Future Teachers Volunteer, Makeover Northwestern Elementary

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ALBION -- Hundreds of college students helped give a Northwestern Elementary School a makeover on Saturday. The future teachers came from all over Pennsylvania as part of an event called "Outreach to Teach." 

The 220 college students, all volunteering with the student branch of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, painted, clipped, and glued, beautifying Northwestern Elementary. 

"They're going to be future teachers and it's good to see all of this come together, because you want your school to look good," sand Cassie Rosenwald, a senior at Carlow University in Pittsburgh. Rosenwald is also the Student PSEA president.

"It just gives them that sense of, 'Wow, we're making an influence.' And these kids are going to come in here and be like, 'Oh my gosh, look at our school!' " she said. 

When the 430, K-5 Northwestern Elementary students return on Monday, they'll see vibrant murals all over the school - from the library, to the cafeteria, the hallways, and even the bathrooms.

Each member of the faculty and staff will also get a hand-made, personalized, felt flag. 

Fifth grader Robbie Sander stopped by the school on Saturday and got a preview. 

"I thought they were amazing and it surprised me," he said. His favorite part of the changes are the murals in the hallways and the library. 

"I think they're going to be more excited to come to school and they (the students) will really like it," said mom, Angie Sander. 

"This project here is all donated to Northwestern Elementary, at no cost," said Mary Ellen Stickler, a special education and reading specialist at the school. She's also the state chair of the PSEA committee.  "If you think about the labor, 220 students here, I don't even want to think about what the cost would be," she said. 

The volunteers realize that most school districts face very tight budgets.

"I think it's important for people to go out and do things like this because people don't have the money, or school districts don't have the money to fund something like this. It's nice that the students will still be able to experience something like this," said Dan Miller, one of the volunteers. 

"I just feel like having that impact on a child and being able to make a difference is so important. Every little difference you make can have a life long impact," said Lauren Williams, one of the volunteers who designed a major mural. 

Northwestern Elementary staff plans to film the students reactions to the new changes via iPad, and share the video with volunteers on Monday. 

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