UF Students Help Local Elementary School

Project Makeover

The walls of Stephen Foster Elementary have been blank, until now.

About 1,000 UF students volunteered their time over the weekend to make the school fresh and colorful.

Principal Lisa Peterson says, "I can tell you that today the students were overjoyed by all of the artwork that has been put in front of them. And the general mood is of happiness and positivity."

Project Makeover is a UF student run non profit that has been creating art in Alachua County schools for ten years.

Peterson says the murals, and outdoor clean up the students have done, makes a difference in everyday life around Stephen Foster. "It gives the teachers an opportunity to teach outside the four walls of the classroom. To go out on to the campus, to explore the different areas on the school property. We developed an outdoor classroom, we did some designs, a big map on the uncovered court, so the students can explore the United States on a grand scale."

One of the lead students on the project, Zack Bodden, says he is proud of the positive difference they are making, by cleaning up flower beds, spreading mulch, and creating murals on the walls. Bodden says, "I think that education is incredibly important. It is one of the things that I think with an education you can get just about anywhere in life. I think having a positive educational experience is really important."

Ten months of planning led to one weekend, filled with long hours, and a satisfying finishing product. Bodden explains, "Looking at where we were when we met ten months ago with that list, to now, it's really incredible to see the transformation that we were able to make here, and the impact that we were able to leave here at Stephen Foster."

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