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GRANADA HILLS : Volunteers Spruce Up Elementary School

Preparing for the school year, a Reseda church group took the lead this month in an effort to repaint the inside of Tulsa Street Elementary School.

Saying that the group wanted to “give children a cheerful environment to work in,” the Rev. James Friddle, pastor of the Worldwide Church of God, was among those who took up paintbrushes Sunday to give the school its first new coat of paint in a quarter of a century.

The 17 beige and blue classrooms at the school “were an eyesore,” said Tulsa Street Principal Major Deberry. “They were not attractive. It didn’t create the ambience people enjoy working in.”

About 30 church members, parents and teachers spent two days a week for the last three weeks painting the school. Paint was donated by Dunn Edwards Paint Co. in Los Angeles and the Home Depot store in Van Nuys. Steven Harner, a church member and general contractor who helped oversee the work, said volunteers encountered the “dust of ages” in the upper reaches of classroom walls and spent much time preparing for the painting.

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Harner said the project is the first effort of the church’s newly formed community service arm.

Friddle said more youth outreach efforts and community cleanups are planned by the group.

The painting job came about because several members of the church group have children who attend the school, Harner said. Members called Deberry to ask what volunteer labor was needed at the school, and she ticked off a quick list of tasks that the Los Angeles Unified School District has been unable to fund, including repainting.

When the last touches were finally applied Sunday afternoon, Deberry pronounced the effort a success: “It looks wonderful. These rooms are beautiful.”


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