Eastern Elementary, Bright Futures partners provide school makeover

Published 6:18 pm Monday, August 14, 2017

Sometimes a fresh coat of paint can give a new perspective.

That’s the idea behind Eastern Elementary School’s latest project through Bright Futures Beaufort County, a program dedicated to meeting the needs of students in the county.

With the help of Vidant volunteers and First Christian Church members, Eastern Elementary staff broke out the paintbrushes and put a new coat of paint on one of the school’s large hallways, two pod hallways and a few classrooms. The school district provided some of the paint for the project.

“We felt like the school, some of the parts of the school, could use a little bit of sprucing up,” Principal Seth Smith said. “I wanted the teachers to have the opportunity if they wanted to repaint their room, they could.”

Smith said when he approached the Bright Futures site council about the project, he wasn’t sure what to expect, but the organization jumped on board to help.

“In my short time here, I can tell we have a very dedicated and a very motivated staff to do things for children,” Smith said. “I’m just very encouraged because we want this to be a community school. … We want to bring the entire community in.”

A simple, fresh paint job holds more significance than one might think, according to Smith. For many families in Beaufort County, Eastern Elementary is the first experience in public school education.

“We understand that first impressions are important, first of all, and so being a pre-K, kindergarten and first-grade school, that we are not just setting the tone for Eastern Elementary,” Smith said. “This is going to be the first school that they hit, and we want them to see that, you know, we care enough at this school to make it look good for their children.”

Smith said he thinks the project was important to the larger community, as evidenced by the volunteers who stepped up to help. When asking for the community’s help, he said he wants to make sure it’s a project worthy of volunteers’ time.

There’s more painting to be done before school starts, as well, Smith said.

“I think that it’s just very important that we show them that this is a welcoming place,” he said. “There’s just something about a fresh coat of paint that makes you feel good.”