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Compassion Weekend work crews come to Willow Oaks School in Menlo Park

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on April 2, 2011

Compassion Weekend volunteers at Willow Oaks School in Menlo Park

Historically, Menlo Park Presbyertian Church-sponsored Compassion Weekend, taking place today and tomorrow, pours more than $350,000 and 12,000 work hours into the community. A portion of those resources is being allocated to the Ravenswood City School District (RCSD), with two projects taking place at Willow Oaks School.

Compassion Weekend volunteers at Willow Oaks School in Menlo ParkAs at other RCSD schools this weekend, around 20 classrooms at Willow Oaks are getting a deep cleaning. In addition, new bookshelves are being built and filled with books in every K through 3rd classroom, a collaboration with Bring Me a Book.

“None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the Ravenswood Education Foundation [led by Executive Director Charley Scandlyn], which has done a ton of work for these schools,” said project coordinator John Colburn. “Same goes for Bring Me a Book — if it wasn’t for Executive Director Terri Clark we wouldn’t have been able to get the books and bookcases.”

Amidst all the cleaning, another group of Compassion Weekend participants are assembling various kits at Willow Oaks for RCSD’s 180 teachers and 3,600 students. These include:

  • Teacher supply kits: basic supplies such as paper, pencils, glue sticks, crayons, pens, pencils, staples, tacks, folders, paper clips, and white board markers
  • STAR test snacks : STAR testing is the California standardized testing that happensCompassion Weekend Volunteers at Willow Oaks School in May. Kits with snacks, such as granola bars and pretzels  for the students for the week of testing
  • STAR test kits: Pencils, erasers, and reusable water bottles for all the students during the week of STAR testing
  • Student take-home kit: Paper, pencils, pencil sharpener, flash cards for all students to take home and use over the summer

“In addition, there are two appreciation gifts, one for teachers and one for staff — approximately 500 gift bags are being assembled,” said project coordinator Michelle Dillabough. “All in all, we should assemble about 4,500 by the end of the weekend.”

Photos by Frances Freyberg

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