Fall has traditionally been the busiest time of year for our Business Shares projects, and 2010 has been no exception.  With the partnership of our great leaders, schools, community groups and corporate partners more schools have been enhanced to brighten the lives of students and community residents.  Highlights from these volunteer projects below: 
On September 11th, approximately 350 volunteers joined Chicago Cares and the Chicago White Sox in transforming Alexander Graham Elementary School.  Through their hard work, these volunteers were able to paint 21 classrooms, 16 murals (both wall and canvas), 13 mosaics, beautify the outdoors with planter benches and update the auditorium. 
On September 24th, Discover Financial Services’ Business Technology division brought 319 volunteers to serve with Chicago Cares in Zion, IL.   In one day, this group was able to make over two schools.  At one school alone, volunteers created nearly two dozen murals, built reading lofts and cubbies for the classrooms and overhauled the outside by adding line games and re-landscaping the school’s entrance.  At another school, volunteers painted murals and constructed planter benches, planter beds and planter boxes.  New seating and gathering areas were also created outside by constructing a flagstone path and benches.  Discover volunteers also added a new baseball diamond to the field between the two schools so all of the students could enjoy the space.  
On October 2nd, over 600 volunteers from Medline transformed North Chicago’s  A. J. Katzenmaier School inside and out!  Painting took place in hallways, classrooms, the gym and the cafeteria.  Murals were  created, a tile mosaic was completed reinforcing one of the school’s major ideas, that one must “READ TO SUCCEED.” Planter benches and boxes were built and placed around the grounds and a peace garden was created.  Volunteers even constructed an outdoor teaching area for the students to learn in the shade of the school’s largest tree.

We can see the physical impact of these projects, but the true reward will be felt by the students, faculty, administrators and parents who will enjoy these brighter environments for years to come. Many thanks to all who donated their time!

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