DOWNEY - Nearly 200 DUSD students boarded school buses at 6 a.m. last Saturday and headed out to Bunche Middle School in Compton where they joined hundreds of volunteers to support the Compton Initiative, a long-term project that aims to improve the city.Most of the students were from Kiwanis-sponsored youth clubs at Sussman and East middle schools, and Warren and Downey high schools. Kiwanis clubs from Downey, Bellflower, Long Beach and Huntington Park participated in the clean-up as part of Kiwanis One Day, a yearly celebration where Kiwanis clubs and their sponsored youth join together for a day of community service. Armed with paint, paint brushes, rollers and weed whackers, the volunteers helped to clean-up and restore the middle school. They painted a large, wrought-iron fence surrounding the school, painted seven buildings and five murals, and planted several plants. "This was a great experience for me because we were able to help middle school kids have a brighter learning environment in which to learn," said Anthony De Leon, team captain of the KIWIN's club at Downey High. Members of the Compton city council and board of education praised Downey for their help. "The Compton Initiative depends upon reaching youth so the work will continue in the future," said Alex Gaytan, coordinator of the local Kiwanis One Day project. "Our youth demonstrated tremendous spirit and dedication to this project. The future looks bright." Students said they would return to help another Compton school within the next three months.
********** Published: April 26, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 02