Renovo-area students learn the importance of community involvement and beautify Erie Avenue | News, Sports, Jobs

KEVIN RAUCH/FOR THE EXPRESS Gabriel and Audrey Burger finished digging a hole before planting a perennial. The two spent Wednesday morning with Renovo Mayor Gene Bruno to help ensure Erie Avenue is at its best during the summer months.

RENOVO — As school drew to a close and most children couldn’t wait for summer vacation, a few teachers at Renovo Elementary School and Bucktail Middle School realized that some students were ready to learn volunteerism and pride in their community.

Following the discussion, an email was sent to the Renovo board explaining that the students, although young, were more than willing to spend time learning the benefits of volunteering during the summer months.

Renovo Mayor Gene Bruno knew immediately he had the perfect job for them.

A few months ago, Bruno noticed the landscaping of the “islands” sidewalks on Erie Avenue had become overgrown and neglected. Bruno had already decided to make the spaces between the sidewalks and the avenue one of his favorite projects to help give the neighborhood a cleaner and more aesthetic look.

The student’s offer of help was not only appreciated but jumped on Bruno. After weeks of preparatory work, he asked the students to go to Erie Avenue to plant perennials along the street.

KEVIN RAUCH/FOR THE EXPRESS Slade Thompson and Nolan Anthony get more topsoil to complete their planting along the 300 block of Erie Avenue.

Accompanied by their parents, the youths met with Bruno to fine-tune the digging of the holes before planting and watering the flowers along six city blocks, focusing on areas of apartment buildings and vacant land.

The sun began to heat up, and although the adults began to sweat easily, not all of the student volunteers were affected.

They constantly asked for more work. With smiles on their faces, they were not only happy to have the experience of helping, but appreciated being able to see firsthand the difference their plantation was making.

“The teachers explained to me that their goal was to bring families together and work in the community, they value volunteering, so that’s something they jumped on,” Bruno explained.

In fact, the mayor of Renovo continually praised the children’s efforts as teachers described the project as exactly what they were working for. The fact that they made Erie Avenue more appealing to Renovo residents almost became a by-product of a seamless working relationship led by kids who wanted to get out there and make their community a better place.

“I want to thank the teachers for introducing the children to giving back to the community, these teachers do a lot of good here”, Bruno said, summing things up.

Tony’s Hardware and service garage covered material costs for work along Erie Avenue. Bruno added that Greg Scere, Shawn Wadsworth, Maria Ransom and the borough team have all contributed to the effort.

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