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School Gets Makeover Thanks To Volunteers & CSX

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Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — All across the nation, cash-strapped school districts are turning to volunteers and corporations for help.

Mike Schuh reports one inner city school was the center of attention for many different groups Saturday.

It’s funny how just a coat of paint can change attitudes.

“Because it makes you smile,” said Jennifer Goffican, volunteer.

“When they come to school on Monday, they will say, `We did this. We had a part in this’ and that helps them with their self-esteem issues and confidence,” said Livia Norwood, PTO member.

“As you see, I’m painting a representation of a student in our community and this shows how great our community is,” said Rachel Wheeler, art teacher.

It’s a community near the Margaret Brent Elementary School where residents say changing for the better is happening.

“I think this is awesome, something we need around the city,” said Jessica Crosby, neighbor and school parent.

Some paint for the school, two dozen trees painted nearby, a new outdoor classroom and more all happened thanks to a couple of national service organizations.

“What takes the time is getting the people together to put these resources to good use so we can have this activity,” Goffigan said.

The school sits right next to the CSX mainline running through Baltimore.

“We want to do them in areas near the railroad. We go through the community—we’re a large part of the economy, 1,500 employees in Maryland—but a lot of what we do is focused on that railroad. This allows us to get out into that community and interact with them,” said Bob Sullivan, CSX.

“It benefits the neighborhood and the school and it makes it a place people want to live,” said Melony Cornelisse, parent and volunteer.

“But it really entices you to look at your community differently and the people who live in your community,” Goffican said.

CSX is going to do 22 of these projects in the coming years. This is their fifth one.

The event was organized by the CSX Railroad with help from City Year, a group within Americorps, and Baltimore’s Parks and People Foundation.

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