DOWNEY - While most kids may have spent the summer glued to video games and television, a select group of kids from Gauldin Elementary School worked to improve their community.Participants of the Gauldin Community Pride Project, a pilot program, met every Friday morning at Independence Park where they took part in clean-ups and participated in environmental workshops. Carol Rowland, of Keep Downey Beautiful, and Lisa Fox, of the city's graffiti removal program, provided training and support as the kids spanned across the city and reported illegally-dumped items and abandoned shopping carts. The kids also formed a graffiti-removal team in August that met Wednesday mornings. The kids targeted the areas surrounding Gauldin Elementary and Independence Park and reported graffiti to the graffiti-removal hotline. In the end, 23 abandoned shopping carts were removed, 20 dumped items were hauled away and more than 150 pieces of graffiti were painted over. "Students have made their neighborhood less attractive to criminals and more attractive to their community," said Alex Gaytan, who helped lead the project with Carol Rowland. "And as a result, the students have made their neighborhood a safer place to live." The students were rewarded with a barbecue and awards ceremony last Friday at Independence Park, where they were praised by Councilman David Gafin and Dolores Goble, principal of Gauldin Elementary.
********** Published: September 2, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 20