It looked like a big party was happening at Barcelona Hills Elementary on Saturday morning, April 30th. Instead of a party, it was the annual Barcelona Beautification Bash headed by Magda McLain, PTA mother and chairperson for Barcelona’s Green Team. Barcelona was abuzz when its families and teachers were joined by 340 teens and over 60 youth leaders who arrived wearing their yellow "Mormon Helping Hands" vests.
The youth, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were participating in a three day youth conference with service being the central focus of Saturday's events. Many of the youth were former Barcelona students. The youth projects included planting, sweeping out debris from under portable classrooms, and adding mulch to the garden and planter areas.
They also helped with digging out tree roots, cleaning lunch tables, washing windows and helping teachers work on projects in classrooms. With so many projects, it would have seemed impossible to finish, but working together got the jobs done quickly. Magda was delighted to see her vision come to fruition.
Lori George, a teacher at Barcelona, worked as a liaison between the Mormon Helping Hands youth and the Barcelona Green Team. “I had many parents and teachers with teary eyes express their gratitude for the work the youth and their leaders performed. Barcelona is a special place and it was inspiring to see so many volunteers gathered to help out their community school."
Mr. Bailey, a veteran teacher, was so touched by the outpouring of love for Barcelona, he was unable to speak when approached to say a few words. However, later, he was able to share a few thoughts as he surveyed the beauty of the finished projects. "Barcelona has always been known as the school with a big heart. It was so moving to witness over 300 high school students giving their hearts to our school through service. They gave us an amazing gift and we are extremely grateful."