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scenes from Love Our Schools Day activities


On November 4, Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) was part of Love Our Schools Day thanks to Love Costa Mesa, a group that united community organizations to provide more than 400 volunteers to work on various campus beautification projects. 

Schools submitted beautification project requests through the Love Costa Mesa website. Projects were approved based on feasibility and scale.

“Love Our Schools Day is about building relationships between our school sites and our community,” said Christy Flores, NMUSD Director of Engagement, Partnerships, and Expanded Learning. 

volunteers at Newport Heights

Volunteers from the community joined NMUSD families to tackle a variety of beautification projects at various school sites:

  • Adams Elementary: painted the benches near trees 

  • California Elementary: repainted the United States map on the playground, added cougar mascot paw prints on the blacktop, and cleaned garden beds

  • College Park Elementary: replaced the bulletin boards in the office; cleaned and organized the staff workroom; and refreshed the staff bathroom by adding artwork on the walls

  • Costa Mesa Middle/High: cleared weeds, placed plastic, and spread gravel in the school garden   

  • Davis Magnet: repainted the yellow lines and duck feet on the playground blacktop, cleaned and organized the garden room, and weeded planters

  • Eastbluff Elementary: repainted the United States map on the playground blacktop; deep-cleaned bathrooms; and refreshed landscaping by cleaning planters, laying mulch, and adding new plants and flowers

  • Harbor View Elementary: repainted the inspirational messages on the risers of the staircase that leads from the front of the school to the area where the school hosts flag deck

  • Killybrooke Elementary: trimmed plants, pulled weeds, and laid a weed barrier and mulch in the memorial garden, plus installed new planters in the school garden and added soil to them 

  • Lincoln Elementary: restored an established organic garden, weeded and cleaned garden, planted drought-resistant plants in stand-alone planters

  • Mariners Elementary: painted ball walls on the playground

  • Newport Elementary: replaced paper lining bulletin boards to be used for student artwork, plus cleaned and hung historic photos in the interior hallways

  • Newport Heights Elementary: removed shrubbery and laid stepping stones to create a better walkway between two buildings, and added plants and flowers to the planters in front of the multipurpose room 

  • Paularino Elementary: installed cups in the chain-link fence to resemble Paularino panther paw prints, plus added potted flowers and plants around campus so students can “stop and smell the flowers”

  • Rea Elementary: weeded and laid mulch in the planters around campus, repainted the lost-and-found cart, created a wall display in the multipurpose room that highlights the Visual and Performing Arts program, and made the robotics room more interactive by attaching base pieces to the wall using removable adhesive strips so students can build models on the wall

  • Sonora Elementary: weeded the school garden

  • Victoria Elementary: washed windows, dusted and cleaned the perimeter fencing and backpack racks, and weeded and laid mulch in the garden beds 

  • Whittier Elementary: weeded, laid mulch, planted new crops in the school garden, and picked up trash on campus

  • Wilson Elementary: weeded the gardens in the office area, planted new rose bushes, and added fencing surrounding the gardens

The partnership with Love Costa Mesa in these beautification projects complements the work of NMUSD’s amazing maintenance and operations team who manage nearly 60 square miles of district facilities. 

Terrilee Stevenson, who worked for NMUSD for 13 years and is now part of Love Costa Mesa, praised the district for supporting the community partnership to beautify schools. “The heart of Love Our Schools Day is supporting the next generation of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, our youth,” said Stevenson. 

After beautifying the school sites, volunteers were invited to a celebratory lunch that also featured children’s activities such as face painting, balloon artists and more.

View more photos on SmugMug.