Orange County United Way partnered with Operation Clean State and came together with volunteers from Antis Roofing & Waterproofing to paint an encouraging mural for the students and teachers at Romero-Cruz Academy in Santa Ana, California.
As for so many, the past school year has been incredibly challenging for the students and teachers of Romero-Cruz Academy because of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Principal Griselda Maldonado explained that they all had to adapt to new ways of doing things, and “students are feeling overwhelmed.”
“Some students did not turn on their cameras all school year,” she said. “Other students have been able to prevail despite the circumstances but, overall, it has been a challenge for our students and for teachers to connect with our students and families.”
On May 7, 2021, volunteers from Antis Roofing & Waterproofing joined Orange County United Way and Operation Clean State at Romero-Cruz Academy to paint a mural depicting people playing sports and participating in other physical activities to encourage healthy, fun, and active play.
“When I saw the opportunity to volunteer for a mural painting, I was more than happy to participate,” said Halie Bodine, a volunteer from Antis Roofing & Waterproofing. “I am artistic myself and loved that art was being used in a positive light to give back to the community.”
She added, “Working on this [mural] along with United Way was a great experience, and everyone was so welcoming and helpful.”
Viewable to cars and the soon-to-be-completed Santa Ana trolley line, the mural also acts as a representation of connectivity – between the school, students, teachers, and the wider community.
“The idea of placing art in a school to represent the city and its’ peers, as well as it being a positive and uplifting thing for students to enjoy and see every day, is such a great idea. Seeing the final finished project was definitely the highlight of my day!” said Halie about the mural.
For Principal Maldonado, the mural connects “our students, teachers, and school to our school’s focus in the arts, a connection to our community and a way of embracing our roots.”
“Our students deserve the very best, and having art and a beautiful campus is part of the environment contributing to learning,” Principal Maldonado said. “We want our students to feel proud and connected to their school.”