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Everyone does their share at Fountaindale

May 17, 1997

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

A common thread bound together the parents, teachers, administrators and some children working on the grounds of Fountaindale Elementary School Saturday - community involvement.

"We're here to teach our kids that community involvement is supposed to be everyone doing his share,'' said Mike Murphy, father of Shaun, a Fountaindale third-grader.

As he weeded the traffic circle at the Northern Avenue school, Murphy paused long enough to say that he came simply because the help was needed.

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"I think it's nice to beautify this place,'' he said. "But it's also to show our kids that we care about what's here . . . and about them.''

Scott Paddack, father of Brittany, a second-grader, was shoring up peeling paint on the curb at the school.

He, too, said he only needed to hear that help was needed for him to come out.

"Somewhere there is a balance,'' Paddack said. "If everybody would volunteer, taxes wouldn't go up.''

As a child, Paddack said he learned a lot about community involvement from his dad, former Hagerstown Mayor Varner L. "Pat'' Paddack.

"I can remember helping him when there would be cleanups around town, when I was younger,'' he said.

Principal Sue Gordon said there was lots of support on Saturday. Some showed up early and then went on to other pursuits while others came late.

A few were there from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., raking, mulching, planting flowers, trimming shrubs and painting.

One of the organizers of Saturday's event, Jenny Belliotti, was also on the grounds from start to finish.

"We started this project in the fall, with each child and teacher planting one bulb in a Make A Wish program,'' Belliotti said.

When those bulbs came up this spring, Belliotti said she was amazed that none of the flowers were picked.

"The children responded to the hands-on approach of having his or her own bulb,'' Belliotti said. And they protected those bulbs.

Karen Cunningham raked grass Saturday as part of her efforts to improve the school where she has taught for 28 years.

"I really love it here,'' she said. "And it's good for the students to see their teachers in another role.''

And Cunningham said it's also good for the parents, teachers and students to work together for a common goal - making Fountaindale the best that it can be.

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