After soaking a paint roller in a pan of white paint, Blake Davis began to spread it on the ceiling of Sampson Middle School’s commons area.
With each stroke, the atmosphere became brighter as the dullness disappeared thanks to the work of a few painters and True Value Hardware. Sampson Middle School was selected as the winner of a paint grant through Sampson Farmers Hardware’s partnership with True Value Foundation’s ‘Painting a Brighter Future’ program.
Blake, a junior at Clinton High School, has less than a month to enjoy his summer break, but he had no problem spending some of it to improve a school he once attended.
“I enjoy coming out and helping the community and the school,” he said. “It’s a blessing to be able to help.”
He was joined by his father Ron Davis and Ricky Lambert.
Principal Greg Dirks said he was thankful for True Value and Sampson Farmers Hardware.
“It’s a great opportunity for the community to get involved in the schools,” Dirks said. “It has not been painted in a couple years, and it’s a good opportunity to build camaraderie as well.”
Dirks received 40 gallons of paint to help improve the walls and ceilings of the middle school. Leftover paint will be used for some of the classrooms. The estimated cost is about $1,200 and will take about a week to complete.
Members of Clinton Community Church are helping with labor to improve the school’s commons area. Lambert said he enjoyed participating.
“It’s something different,” he said. “It kills a little time. I enjoy doing anything to help out. I’m always willing to lend a hand.”
Ron Davis, a business education teacher at the school, expects more students to help.
“It’s great having people in the community willing to help our local schools and to get grants like this to help us with little things,” Ron said.
He also pointed out that the grant is helpful because of budget issues at the state level.
“With the way the state budget is now, it’s hard to get money to even paint at times.” Ron said. “Being able to get a grant like this to help us make our school look better and take pride in the community, it’s real important to do those kinds of things.”
Through the program, retailers identify elementary, junior high or high schools that meet the basic qualifications and encourage them to apply for the paint grants.
The judging process included the evaluation of several aspects such as student population, involvement with the surrounding community and the reason for the request. By using those criteria, an advisory committee selected the top applicants.
According to a news release, True Value Foundation was established in 2008 to unite associated retailers in helping people in their communities build stronger lives through charitable programs. Through the organization, hardware stores are encouraged to support youth programs, create solutions for community and social issues, and inspire adults to continue to learn through new experiences.
“By uniting retailers in this mission through local initiatives, the foundation brings positive change to more people in True Value communities,” stated officials in a news release.
Kevin Sandlin, maintenance supervisor for Clinton City Schools, said the commons area was painted eight to 10 years ago.
“We applied for the grant based on that need,” Sandlin said.
Local officials applied last fall, for the grant which was awarded to the district in the spring.
Randy Kelly of Sampson Farmers Hardware said it was a wonderful program that helps brighten up a school for children.
“I think it’s a win-win for the merchants and the community as a whole,” Kelly said.
(Chase Jordan can be reached at 910-249-4617. Follow the paper on Twitter @SampsonInd.)