A First-Timer’s Take on Community Campus Day

Thank you Hockaday student volunteer Maddie Stout for writing this insightful, first-hand account of Community Campus Day on March 27. Maddie would also like to credit writing/photography help from fellow Hockaday students, Lea Whitley, and Sammy Freeman. 

39 projects. Hundreds of volunteers. And one key mission: improve Dallas ISD as much as possible. As Community Campus Day novices, Lea and I truly got to see the huge impact United to Learn has on Dallas ISD.

We began our morning at Preston Hollow Elementary, where we spoke with Debbie Wilson and members of the Preston Hollow Women’s Club about their plans to paint stencils on the blacktop to create educational, fun places to play. Their words gave us an inside look at the reciprocal effect CCD has on both volunteers and the schools: as Wilson put it, “they were filling hearts, but their hearts were also being filled.”

From there, Lea and I went to multiple other schools around Preston Hollow, including Withers Elementary and Pershing Elementary. We met volunteers from Lamplighter, who were painting the teacher’s lounge and assembling furniture for it, and witnessed a mural being painted at Foster Elementary (pictured above)

At K.B. Polk Center for Academically Talented and Gifted, where volunteers completed a wide range of projects from bench building to wall painting, we spoke to Principal Jackson. She told us about United to Learn’s partnership with the school and praised the organization for all the help it had done, from organizing uniform drives to completely revamping the school’s auditorium. In fact, according to her, CCD was only “a bite-sized piece” of United to Learn’s impact on Polk. 

Finally, we ended our day at L.L. Hotchkiss Elementary, meeting up with fellow Hockaday students and Jesuit students as they painted a full size basketball court (including the school’s logo!) and other games like foursquare to give the students an outdoor space to play. We heard how rewarding the experience had been to the volunteers and most of all how excited they were to see the kids’ reaction!

After spending the day traveling around our city to get a first-hand look at all the change United to Learn was making, Lea and I can officially say that Community Campus Day truly is doing so much for so many people. We can’t wait to see what next year brings!