Councilwoman Patricia Fairclough took time at the December 19th Special Presentations to acknowledge how the Homestead community offered its support to help a local school realize a long-held dream.
“I am a firm believer that strong schools build strong communities and our schools are strengthened by the support of our community stakeholders,” said Fairclough, adding, “An exciting beautification project happened on December 2nd when several organizations came together to beautify the campus of Homestead Middle School.”
Dr. Contessa Bryant, the principal of Homestead Middle School, joined Councilwoman Fairclough and recounted how the efforts of the community made something amazing happen for the school.
According to Bryant, beautifying the campus had been in the works for a while. “We have had some issues getting the program off the ground.” she said. “We really needed individuals and organizations to put their hands on this project to help us get the work done.”
Bryant then listed the “many, many angels” who got involved, noting “The City of Homestead and Councilwoman Fairclough’s office came to our rescue and said they had some interest in our project. And then we had the Refuge Church come in and brought in everyone in Homestead who does landscaping. We had Officer Tate, who brought in officers and police explorers, too, so there were young people there. We had the Public Defender’s office – it was so many people.”
Equipment that was needed for the project, which the school couldn’t afford, was donated. Hector Madrigal, of Green Houses and Shadehouses, fixed the school’s green house for free and even got the school’s chicken coop in order. Volunteers cleared the overgrowth of trees and shrubs cleared and installed new landscaping. In addition, planting beds were built for children, who, through the school’s agricultural program headed by Dr. Adewale Alonge, have opportunities to visit local farmers and learn from them.
Bryant mentioned that a custodian who’d been there for 26 years said to her, “Dr. Bryant, that’s the first time we’ve been able to see through this gate and the area is so clean, we can see for blocks now.”
Bryant concluded, “Something outstanding is happening at Homestead Middle School and we are proud to say it’s because we are in a city where we are loved and supported, so thank you so much.”
Smiling, Fairclough responded, “Transformation is definitely happening at Homestead Middle School and it is because of your leadership.”
Inviting the organizations who made the project a success to the front of the Council Chambers, Fairclough said, “This is the team that was instrumental in beautifying Homestead Middle School.”
Homestead Middle School Beautification Project Volunteers and Supporters
Hector Madrigal, Green Houses and Shadehouses
Pastor Jeremy and Lady Upton, Refuge Community Church
Jeanine Jones, State Attorney’s Office
Homestead Community Policing Units
Officer Mario Arzuaga
Officer Robbie Tate
Councilman Larry Roth
This Is For The Kids, Inc.