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Santa Maria Sun / School Scene

The following article was posted on April 24th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 7 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 14, Issue 7

Miller Elementary grows a little brighter


On any given day around noon, Miller Elementary School is busy with students trolling back and forth to the cafeteria. More than a hundred yellow-shirt-wearing volunteers from C&D Zodiac Aerospace compounded that lunchtime chaos on April 18.

Zodiac Aerospace employee-volunteers Dan Frigon, Michelle Schramm, and Ankica Moretic finished painting a pavement map of the United States at Miller Elementary School on April 18.

They painted murals, walls, and pavement; built benches; replanted gardens, and were fed lunch by students and faculty.

Principal Karen Porter was in the midst of it—walking reporters around, grabbing special lunches for vegetarian volunteers, directing students who dished up lunch, and feeling a little overwhelmed by the miniature facelift her school was receiving through the Give and Grow Grant.

“I didn’t know all of the things they were doing; so many things,” Porter said. “It’s incredible.”

The grocery list of murals, benches, and new plants also included beanbag chairs, books, and 20 Kindle eReaders for the school library that came with a $650 gift certificate to buy ebooks.

Zodiac’s nonprofit division has funded the grant since 2007, and it’s motivated by the belief that improvements to a school’s physical condition will encourage students to excel.

The organization is based in Huntington Beach with a branch in Santa Maria. Every year it picks a Southern California school for the grant. Zodiac picked Fairlawn Elementary School as last year’s grant winner.