Pressure washing, painting and cleaning three schools in Tallapoosa and Coosa counties were the focus of Lake Martin Area United Way’s Day of Action on Thursday.

Jim Pearson Elementary School and Dadeville and Central Coosa high schools were chosen for the annual service projects and almost 200 volunteers participated, according to executive director Sharon Fuller.

Volunteers worked on landscaping, cleaning and moving classrooms at Jim Pearson and painted halls at Dadeville and Central Coosa.

Fuller said a lot of teachers needed help moving at Jim Pearson.

“We’ve had a lot of teachers whose rooms got moved because they added a new pre-K,” Fuller said. “(Volunteers) are able to help the teachers box up their rooms and then if the other room is empty then they’re able to move in there.”

Fuller said more than 100 volunteers were at Jim Pearson, 20 were at Dadeville and 70 were at Central Coosa. The local United Way rotates volunteering at a different school in each of the school systems every year.

“We let each of the superintendents pick a school,” Fuller said.

Alexander City Schools director of elementary schools Ellen Martin said the Day of Action saves the school system time and money. 

“These are things that our custodians do not have time to do in the summertime and it saves us so much money because of the man hours that are given freely to have these things done like the trimming of the shrubbery,” Martin said.

Volunteers Brian Dodson and his son, Barrett Dodson, cleaned tables and rails and shoveled pebbles back on to Jim Pearson’s playground. Brian Dodson said both of his sons attended the school.

“If you haven’t volunteered in the community, pick an organization whether it’s United Way or any of the other great organizations in Alex City and get out and serve your community,” he said. “It’s a great way to see what’s going on and to get a feel for meeting new neighbors and participate.”

Jim Pearson second-grade teacher Lisa Ballard is moving into a new classroom for the upcoming school year and said a lot was accomplished at the school.

“Everyone I’ve seen has been cleaning, moving furniture, doing anything we’ve asked, taking out trash, moving a lot of teachers around,” Ballard said. “This has been wonderful for me.”

United Way board member Fred George pressure washed some concrete sidewalks outside Jim Pearson. 

“It’s taken a long time to do this one little strip but it looks so much better,” George said. “The kids need a clean environment to go to school in. The school system does not have the funds.”

United Way marketing and initiatives director Courtney Layfield volunteered at Central Coosa for the day. She said most of the volunteers were school staff and students including children from the Boys & Girls Club of Goodwater.

“If it can be cleaned we cleaned it,” Layfield said.

Layfield said her favorite part of the day was watching the students participate at their school.

“These kids are working hard and getting sweaty and putting in the elbow grease and that warms my heart,” Layfield said. “It makes me feel really good to see them giving back to their community and taking pride in their school.” 

Day of Action’s sponsors included Alabama Paper & Supply Co., Burgess Distributing, Tallapoosa County District 1 Commissioner T.C. Coley and District 2 Commissioner Steve Robinson, Glidden Paint, Home Depot No. 6889 Alexander City, Home Depot No. 809 Sylacauga, Lake Martin Signature Construction, Tim Price Landscaping, Jack’s, Lake Martin Stone Company and Main Street Alexander City.