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Old Quarry PTO, Student Council Pitch in for Campus Cleanup

Dozens of students, parents and teachers picked up trash and spruced up the landscaping around the school Thursday afternoon.

More than 50 students, parents and teachers volunteered their time Thursday for a campus cleanup at .

The Lemont PTO and Old Quarry Student Council spent the sunny, warm afternoon pulling weeds, picking up trash, planting bulbs and spreading mulch around the school.

"It’s exciting to have an event that brings us together in such a constructive way," said parent volunteer Laura Swalec. "With the staffing cuts, the custodial crew is not able to address the deteriorating landscape and litter issues. This project is giving the kids an opportunity to take pride in their school and make their learning environment inviting and refreshed."

Several teachers and administrators also volunteered, including Jack Williams, David Nenn, Michelle Nevin, Old Quarry Principal Bill Caron and District 113A Director of Operations Pam Mazurek.

All materials and supplies were donated by parents and Lockport landscaping company Drew's Lawn and Snow.

Dan Banas October 07, 2011 at 12:19 PM
What a great effort. All who helped should be very proud of yourselves. Thank you.
Kara Knutte October 07, 2011 at 01:23 PM
A huge thanks to all the children, parents, and faculty for the awesome work-the school looks great!
Ann Paul October 07, 2011 at 03:02 PM
Yes I agree, great effort! HOWEVER, if this was a PTO sponsored event, why weren't all parents invited to participate? Many parents I talked to did not know about this event. There were no notes, no emails and it isn't on the PTO calendar? So help us understand why only a selected group of individuals were asked to participate? So I guess the division in this community lives on . . .
Jennifer Albrecht October 07, 2011 at 04:02 PM
You're right Ann. It's all part of the master conspiracy plan - get the middle school student council to clean up the school grounds all in order to hasten the division and decline of this once great community. Might have been nicer had you just said, "Great idea! Thank you PTO and students. You've done a fantastic job!" and left it at that.
Ann Paul October 07, 2011 at 04:09 PM
This is the only time Ms. Albrecht I will acknowledge your existence with your ludicrous comments. If this was a PTO sponsored event, myself and many other parents would've enjoyed helping out too. And if you bothered to look at my first sentence, I agreed Great Effort! We are wondering why only selected parents were invited to particpate? If there is genuinely a good reason behind it, I will gladly move on.
Mary Pollard October 07, 2011 at 04:14 PM
Wonderful job teachers, parents, and kids, You set a fine example of positivity for the whole community to follow. Finding little ways to contribute and make a difference is what leadership is all about. Wonderful job!
Lynn Kroll October 07, 2011 at 04:20 PM
I think people were contacted who signed up as volunteers on the OQ PTO volunteer list. At the beginning of each year the PTO offers parents to sign up for volunteer opportunities. Everyone can sign up as a volunteer through the PTO online volunteer database. The school looks great! And a big thanks to Drew's Lawn and Snow!
Mary Van October 07, 2011 at 05:16 PM
I must have missed Ann's post, I'm thinking it was probably a negative post about the generous work and time that student's and parent and volunteer staff put towards this effort. As parents, during the first few weeks of school, there are many things to volunteer for, and this was one of them. Students and staff also plant trees during Earth week, gee Ann, where are your complaints at that time. Students learn a lot during activities like this......how plants grow, how to take care of them, how to get them established, and don't forget, the important lessons of team work to accomplish your goals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11 JOB WELL DONE, THE SCHOOL LOOKS WONDERFUL BECAUSE OF THIS PROJECT.......LOOKING FORWARD TO THE REWARDS OF OTHER PROJECTS!
Mary Van October 07, 2011 at 05:19 PM
Now I see Ann's post.......I stand by mine.
Mary Van October 07, 2011 at 05:21 PM
Ann.....you mention "we are wondering".....who are we? Just move on, this was a great project.
Amanda Luevano (Editor) October 07, 2011 at 05:34 PM
Hey everyone, thanks for the feedback. As always, I appreciate when you take the time to comment on the site. I just want to say that it was awesome to see the kids working so hard. I walked around the entire school and not one student was sitting or trying to get out of work. They were all pitching in, and the school looks really great. Considering the setbacks facing the custodial staff, I think it was a really creative idea to get the students involved in cleaning up the campus. I always enjoy featuring volunteers on Patch, so job well done!
Laura Swalec October 07, 2011 at 06:32 PM
Ann, I’d love to help you understand… Yesterday’s accomplishment was a collaboration of over 30 PTO parents, 60+ student council kids, the finest OQ staff and generous donations from Drew’s Lawn and Snow. Many hands worked together to make a difference in our community. This initiative is one of many planned thru OQ PTO’s Volunteer Committee. It was publicized by email to the volunteers that signed up with the OQ PTO to volunteer “where needed.” I apologize to anyone who felt excluded, however the great news is there’s plenty more work to be done! Anyone interested in getting involved please call me, I am I the school directory! I will find great jobs for all! RV and Oakwood need parent support as well!! So appreciate the enthusiasm for supporting our schools!
Catherine Stukel October 07, 2011 at 07:58 PM
This is so awesome on so many levels. But kids, please don't forget that charity work, in your community is also important. And make sure you do something for someone else - where you derive no benefit. Take the time this fall to rake an eldery person's lawn, or donate time to help a friend. Charity does begin at home -- and it continues on when you do it without deriving any benefit. :)
Kara Knutte October 07, 2011 at 08:53 PM
Thanks Ms. Swalec for organizing this event and to all the volunteers whose hard work has really made a difference with improving the appearance of our community's school. Many of the children at this event, I have seen assisting with local food drives and community clean-ups. Lemont really does have a great group of kids!
Nicole Kinnaman Seidler October 07, 2011 at 09:51 PM
It was a pleasure working out there with my kids, students, parents and staff! The kids worked so hard and willing to do anything! (why aren't mine like that at home...lol) when I got in the car, I said to my kids and neighbor kids, "now don't you feel great helping?". They all said in unison and with a big smile "YES!!!!".
Michelle Nevin October 09, 2011 at 01:15 AM
Hats off to the Old Quarry Student Council members (and their parents who received the email about this event) plus the Old Quarry PTO parent volunteer group that every parent who attended Meet and Greet had the chance to sign up for (that received an email about the event)! Thank you for helping to make Old Quarry more beautiful. I was out there on Thursday with so many awesome volunteers all trying to help make our area more beautiful. We had students, parents, teachers, administrators, etc. all out pitching in. It was beautiful. Ann Paul, thank you so much for being willing to help out in the buildings. We have so many needs. Please email me at mnevin@sd113a.org and I will try to help you get involved in future events. Thank you to all that truly love and support 113A!
Michelle Nevin October 09, 2011 at 01:29 AM
Catherine, I have been part of Old Quarry's Student Council for many years and also the lead of TEAM VT and can tell you kids in Lemont know what it means to do charity work. When 7th grade students lose a beloved 30 year old teacher to cancer they know what it means to do charity work. So please be respectful of that. Our kids know what charity works means. We have taught them that.
Catherine Stukel October 11, 2011 at 08:10 PM
Michelle Nevin: I don't know how asking me to be respectful has anything to do with anything. Hats off to the kids; as I do believe that charity begins at home. So relax a little -- and just enjoy the complement.
Terri Buckley October 12, 2011 at 04:00 AM
Catherine Stukel- Unfortunately, your previous comment was neither a "compliment" to the kids nor a "complement" to this article. Rather, it was a sanctimonious lecture that implies that the kids are lacking in some respect. Perhaps you could learn to relax and just say "great job" for something like this. I believe that the 50 kids who volunteered to pick up trash, weed and landscape the school grounds showed more willingness to volunteer their time for the community's greater good than the volunteerism exhibited by 99% of the residents of this village. Why did you choose to lecture to the people who volunteer rather than to the people who do nothing? Ann Paul- Instead of criticizing this initiative because you weren't personally invited why don't you organize your own group to volunteer at the schools, or any community organization for that matter? If you want to help, then help, call the school and volunteer your time and services. It is a joke that you are complaining that you weren't invited to help. Plenty of opportunities to help the schools, stop complaining and start doing something other than blaming others.
Jack Mikolajczak October 12, 2011 at 04:49 PM
I honestly can't believe this article received comments other than: Cool, Good Job, Awesome.....seriously people?!
Lee Ristow October 12, 2011 at 09:20 PM
Ditto to that, Jack.
Catherine Stukel October 13, 2011 at 03:24 AM
I just think people see what they want to see. And when all else fails, they make fun of a misused homonym. Goes to show why some people argue for the sake of aguing. Sad, really.
Catherine Stukel October 13, 2011 at 03:26 AM
Oh - sorry for my comment - as Terri says, I gave a sactimonious lecture that implies anything less that a compliment - sigh --- I guess you don't really know what the art of good conversation is....you just twist things. How sad for you, Terri.....
Susan Antonoff October 13, 2011 at 10:44 AM
Terri..SPOT ON! Not good, but great conversation!

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