This year was no different as the 141 new first-year students, as well as 15 upper-class Dean’s Fellows, began the 2018 school year by volunteering at Winthrop Rockefeller Elementary School and Early Childhood Center for their First Week community service project on Aug. 11. The goal of this project was to allow law students to put Bowen’s core value of public service to work.
“So many of our students enter law school with aspirations of public service that tend to get buried beneath a stressful first-year curriculum,” said Rejena Grotjohn, assistant dean for student affairs. “The purpose of the First Week community service project is to keep our first-year students focused on the reason many of them chose to apply to law school.”
At Rockefeller, law students repainted basketball goals and attached new nets, repainted the U.S. map on the playground, as well as constructed a paper tree in the cafeteria that they filled with encouraging notes to students and teachers. Additionally, Bowen students landscaped Rockefeller’s main entry by planting flowers and greenery, mulching and irrigating the flowerbeds, painting retaining walls, weeding around the grounds, and trimming crepe myrtles on the campus.
Sarah Fendley, a second-year law student and Dean’s Fellow who participated in this project, said it was very important to remember that children are part of the future of our community in Little Rock, as well as the nation.
“Ensuring that these children feel engaged and wanted in their schools and communities is a crucial step in helping them complete their education and become engaged members and leaders in society,” she said. “It’s more than mulch and paint, it is an investment in our future.”
Dr. Shoutell Richardson, principal of Rockefeller, said the staff members at Rockefeller were delighted to enter the doors for the new school year, surrounded by a positive climate that is conducive to learning.
“Everything you touched made a difference in the life of a child,” she said. “Thanks for being heroes to Rockefeller, ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”