A Healing Day for Force Elementary School

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Bailey Cross writes, Force Elementary School in Denver, Colorado has had some hard times.

Force Elementary School in Denver, Colorado has had some hard times. On August 27, 2008, delegates from California, New York and Vermont alongside volunteers from the Democratic National Convention Committee, Democrats Work, Metro Volunteers and Volunteers of America did their best to help.In November, 2007, the unthinkable happened when Force Elementary School student Auralia Cisneros was, according to the Rocky Mountain News, shot to death in her apartment. The building of the new playground was a way to help start the healing process of the community. Paula Henry, the amazing woman who put all of this uplifting project together, said, “We already had a great relationship with the school. We took out the old, unsafe equipment during the summer before school was in session. Now we are helping to put in the new, safe equipment. It’s a great project.” “This playground means so much. It means that the children will have a safe place to play. They will now have a place to look forward to visiting. Most importantly, they will have something to be proud of.” said Rachel Starks, the principal of Force Elementary. “Whenever kids come out to play, they have a safer and more exciting place to play.” said Rose Pilon, a 4 th grader at Force Elementary. Jennifer Murillo, also a 4 th grader at Force Elementary, felt really special that everyone was helping her school. She said, “All of the kids are going to be really glad and excited when they are finished. It’s really cool that they chose our school.” Ana Jimenez, DeAnna Gallegos, Gennifer Peregra, and Mariah Duran, all 5 th grade students, were “excited” to meet all of the delegates and see them working so hard for their school. “This is great! It means that our school will have better things for the kids. It’s especially cool because I’m interested in government.” Ana said.DeAnna said, “I’m so happy to get a new playground! The old one was really small. I’m really, really happy that the delegates came and I got to meet some because I want to be President when I grow up.” It seemed that the delegates were just as excited as all of the students were. Diana Cihak, a delegate from Buffalo, NY was “just a working bee”, working on planting beautiful flowers to bring some life and color to the playground. She said, “This is a great way to reinforce the fact that we need to give back to the community. Yes, in some ways this is a symbolic jester, but it is also something more.” Debbie Major of NY thought that this amazing project was wonderful for the community. As she took a break from working on building the play set she said “This is my third time as a delegate, abut the first time that they have ever done a delegate service day. This is a wonderful opportunity to leave something good in Denver.”The students all got a special treat. One class at a time they came out to tie their ribbons onto the fence to say that Force Elementary School is, and always will be their school. After tying their symbolic ribbons, the children were delighted when they got ice cream and a chance to meet Deb Markowitz, the State Secretary of Vermont.”This is a fun way to get out and give back to the community. While we are here as visitors, it’s good to give back.” Deb Markowitz said.