More than 100 volunteers from City Year, Disney Studios and Walt Disney Elementary School joined forces Saturday, November 21, to beautify the elementary school campus. In just three hours, six murals were painted and benches and planters were built and painted, adding color throughout the school grounds.
The volunteers got to work after brief opening remarks at 9:00 a.m. from City Year’s Core Team Members, Disney Principal Molly Hwang, Burbank Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Dr. Tom Kissinger and Walt Disney Studios executives Joan McCarthy and Peter DrCecco.
Burbank Vice Mayor Jess Talamantes and BUSD Director of Elementary Education Dr. Peter Knapik were also in attendance.
Walt Disney Elementary School was selected to be the site of City Year Positive Impact project. Part of the nationwide AmeriCorp service network, City Year is a national service organization that emphasizes community service for older teens and young adults.
In addition to the six murals painted in various locations around the school, volunteers also added splashes of color to the school’s asphalt areas. Benches for seating were built and painted and planters for the school garden were also painted.
“The day ran like a well-oiled machine thanks to the behind-the-scenes efforts of Andrea Gibson and Claudia Acuna from Disney and Zach Metzinger and Melvin Noriega from City Year,” said Hwang, who is in her first year as principal at Disney Elementary.
”Walt Disney Elementary School is sometimes overlooked by the community due to our exterior,” commented Hwang. “The Disney voluntEARs and City Year changed that in a single day.”
“The outside of our school now matches the beautiful things occurring daily for students on the inside,” she added. “The students were thrilled as they walked onto campus Monday morning. You could hear them exclaiming, ‘Cool, awesome, this is the best day ever!'”
After the morning’s work, all the volunteers and their families in the Disney school community were invited to the Disney studio lot on Saturday afternoon for a preview screening of The Good Dinosaur.
“Walt Disney Studios is a strong supporter of volunteerism and the Burbank community,” Hwang also said, as she expressed appreciation for the “generosity of the Walt Disney Studios and City Year.”