What a way for the kids at Hermosa Drive Elementary in Fullerton to be welcomed back from their spring break.
While the students were enjoying their time off last week, more than 100 volunteers were on their campus providing upgrades that would make coming back from vacation a little easier to take.
Anaheim Ducks staff members, season seat holders and volunteers from several of the Ducks corporate partners, along with many Hermosa Drive Elementary teachers, worked to provide a makeover for the school as a part of the Anaheim Ducks and Anaheim Ducks Foundation “PowerPLAY!” project.
Valued at more than $100,000, the school received permanent upgrades that included a street hockey rink, landscape improvements, painted wall murals and technology equipment for the school’s library.
The kindergarten through sixth grade student body made their way out to their new street hockey rink Monday morning for the big “reveal” and an assembly to dedicate their newest playground space. Anaheim Ducks host, Kent Walls, joined Wild Wing and Ducks alum, Guy Hebert, in congratulating the school and students on many future street hockey contests.
“Some of these kids might not even know about hockey,” said Hebert. “For them to have an opportunity to experience something different, and to have something on their campus now that they can readily use every day, is great.”
Hermosa Drive Elementary is a long-time partner school in the Anaheim Ducks S.C.O.R.E. (Scholastic Curriculum of Recreation & Education) program, and has been an enthusiastic participant in many of the program’s initiatives, such as Reading is the GOAL, First Flight Field Trip and Captain’s Challenge.
Fullerton School District Superintendent, Dr. Bob Pletka, and Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Emy Flores were both in attendance for the dedication and were overwhelmed by the generosity the Ducks provided in this makeover project.
“We’re really excited,” said Pletka. “This is a way to help our kids be life-long physically fit.”
“We have great programs in our school district, but this takes it to the next level,” added Flores. “We’re so excited for our kids. What a fantastic partnership. We’re just so appreciative.”
In addition to the street hockey rink, new landscaping and trees were planted around the campus, along with newly painted wall murals that feature the school’s colors and mascot, Hermosa Hawk, alongside Wild Wing and the Ducks logo and colors.
Ducks corporate partners such as 7UP, SoCal Honda Dealers, Banyan Group Construction, Park West Companies and VIZIO stepped up to provide many of the project’s upgrades.
“I think it’s fantastic when you can bring together so many different entities,” said Anaheim Ducks Chief Operating Officer, Tim Ryan. “It’s not just the Ducks. It’s not just about the S.C.O.R.E. program, but bringing together over a dozen of our corporate partners that have donated their time, the equipment and the money to improve the lives of all of these kids.”
In an effort to address not only the physical fitness efforts of students at Hermosa Drive Elementary, but also technology-based learning, the school’s library received upgrades that included four flat-screen televisions with Apple TV connectivity, tech cabinets with charging stations, a 3D printer and accompanying work station, new work tables and chairs, a lounge area and refurbished bookshelves.
Hermosa Drive Elementary Principal, Robin Gilligan, said that recent budget cuts have limited the school’s use of the library space. But with the upgrades provided by the Ducks, more opportunities will be provided for the students to use their 21st century learning skills.
“This is now a way that our teachers can come in and have a whole class working in here on projects, using the library the way it really should be used,” said Gilligan. “We’re just opening the doors of possibilities for our students.”
Surprised by all that had been done to the campus over spring break, fourth grader Madelyn McLeran is excited to use the upgraded library.
“To have the Ducks come here was a really big surprise,” said the 10-year old McLeran. “I am really impressed. It looks so different now. We can 3D print and do presentations here. I am very thankful and very appreciative too.”
McLeran is also a member of Hermosa Drive’s street hockey team that participates in the Anaheim Ducks S.C.O.R.E. Street Hockey program, an in-school physical education module provided for free by the Ducks to more than 45 schools throughout Southern California.
“Now I can practice hockey during lunch. It’s really exciting.”
The school’s motto is Learn – Serve – Achieve, and fourth grade teacher Alison Garcia said that the Anaheim Ducks “PowerPLAY!” program aligns perfectly with those concepts by modeling for the students what it means to be a good citizen and give back to the community.
“It parallels exactly what we do here,” said Garcia. “The learning that they provide for us is truly effective and applies toward our education standards and our fitness and wellness goals. And the students see what it means to serve and give back. We couldn’t be more happy.”
**Renovation photos and group photo provided by the Anaheim Ducks