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DAY OF SERVICE: Troy University teams up with TES students to build outdoor classroom

Students with the Troy University Office of Civic Engagement partnered with students at Troy Elementary School Tuesday to begin building an outdoor classroom on the school’s campus.

Dr. Avery Livingston, coordinator of the Office of Civic Engagement, said it is good for the elementary students to take part in the project.

“It always feels better when you create it yourself,” Lvingston said.”It shows them that when you put your own sweat equity into the community it makes a difference.”

Eleven years after legislation passed to declare the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a federal holiday, Congress designated it as a national day of service in 1994 and is still the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service.

The work at the school was originally scheduled to coincide with the day of service, but had to be postponed a week due to forecasts of snow and ice.

The work is made possible through a $1,500 grant from Youth Services America’s Global Schools of Service program. Funding for the grant is provided by State Farm and the Corporation for National and Community Service through its Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Program.

“We’ve been wanting to beautify the nature trail and this grant provided a way to do that,” Livingston said. “This is the first outdoor area for the kids.”

The project will include construction of a nature trail and outdoor classroom behind Troy Elementary School.

The outdoor classroom will feature six large benches and two podiums. The wood lining the path leading to the classroom will be inscribed with quotes from Dr. King.

The project will continue on a second day of service in April, when the project will be unveiled and dedicated.