DOINews: DOI Employees Participate in D.C. Schools Annual Beautification Day

Last edited 09/05/2019

DOI employeees Katharine Campbell and Stephanie Marrone planting flowers at C. Melvin Sharpe Health School.
Katharine Campbell, Bureau of Indian Education, and Stephanie Marrone, National Park Service, plant flowers at C. Melvin Sharpe Health School. Photo by Brenda Woods, DOI. SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE.

As part of the Department of the Interior's education outreach, on Saturday, August 23, DOI representatives participated in the D.C. Public Schools Annual Beautification Day, at C. Melvin Sharpe Health School, and Ross Elementary School. On this day of service volunteers worked on projects to improve the schools appearance before the first day of school. In spite of the slightly rainy day, the volunteers persevered with projects that included planting flowers, mulching, landscaping, trash pickup, and painting.

The DOI volunteers included Joan Corley, U.S. Geological Survey; Katharine Campbell, Bureau of Indian Education; Ebonee Mayo-Mitchell, National Park Service; Stephanie Marrone, National Park Service; Lora Turner, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; Christopher Jackson, National Park Service; Elizabeth Tinker, National Park Service; and Madonna Baucum, National Park Service.

The volunteers were enthusiastic about participating in the day of service, and shared their experience. “I was impressed with the group's dedication and teamwork,” Marrone said. “A little rain didn't stop us! It was great to see the results of our efforts and to meet like-minded contributors from DOI.”

Turner said, “The team that turned up for the C. Melvin Sharpe Health School was awesome; the rain wasn't going to stop us from having an extremely rewarding day. I love to be able to help our communities as much as possible and I believe it is important for our schools to be a place student and parents can be proud.”

“I always enjoy giving back when I have the time and opportunity,” Jackson said. Corley added, “I had a great experience volunteering at Ross Elementary School with people from different places. “The improvements made to the school will give the children a big smile on the first day of school.”

Tinker said, “Participating in the D.C. Public Schools Beautification Day was a wonderful experience for me. I was able to meet and work with some terrific and very passionate DOI folks and learn more about our agency's dedicated employees. While we were busy planting flowers, mulching, painting, and picking up trash we shared personal stories of our work places, travels, and favorite National Park experiences. I was truly touched to learn that the children of C. Melvin Sharpe Health School were very excited to head back to school. It was very humbling and such an honor to know that we played a role in making the students return to school a beautiful day!”

Ross Elementary School and C. Melvin Sharpe Health School are DOI partner schools. Ross Elementary School serves students from Pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. C. Melvin Sharpe Health School serve students from ages 5 through 21 with special needs.

The Educational Partnerships Program has engaged youth through education programs that support the Secretary's Youth Initiative. Such programs have included a student-forum series, student placement in internship and fellowship positions at DOI bureaus and offices, reading programs, career-fair and science-fair participation, service-learning opportunities, and coordination of field trips to DOI-managed sites.

For additional information about the Educational Partnerships Program and volunteer opportunities, contact Brenda Woods, program manager at (202) 208-3617 or via e-mail

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