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July 23. 2013 9:32PM

School spruce-up

170 Fidelity workers give Nashua school a face-lift


April Baez, a Fidelity Investments employee, recruits her husband, Armando Baez, to help paint wall decor for the Mt. Pleasant Elementary School cafeteria in Nashua as part of Fidelity's annual Transformation Day. (KIMBERLY HOUGHTON PHOTO)

NASHUA — One of the oldest schools in Nashua received a big transformation on Tuesday as employees from Fidelity Investments beautified the facility in preparation for the upcoming school year.

About 170 Fidelity workers converged on Mount Pleasant Elementary School, working to make the aging school brighter and more colorful for students this fall.

"We really wanted to be here to volunteer. Every school is strapped right now, so I am glad that we can help out however we can," said Cindy Pelletier, a Nashua resident and Fidelity employee. "Our daughter is a kindergarten teacher at Fairgrounds Elementary, so we have a vested interested in helping the local school district."

Pelletier's husband, a retired Fidelity employee, also decided to lend a helping hand by constructing small storage cubicles that will be placed in classrooms.

Other improvements included landscaping, installing storage units in the nurse's office, washing shelves in the school library and placing book covers on paperback library books.

There was also a lot of painting taking place at the school, as a large mural with the Mount Pleasant moose logo was painted on the back wall of the gymnasium. Other canvas paintings for the library and cafeteria were completed by Fidelity's artistic workers.

"Building a core education in a quality environment is critical for these students," said Joe Murray, spokesman for Fidelity Investments. "We are committed to helping them succeed."

Interns with Fidelity helped prepare about 380 backpacks filled with school supply kits that will be distributed to each student at Mount Pleasant Elementary School.

Each backpack also includes a handwritten, inspirational note for the students to help them start off the year on a positive note.

For the past several years, Fidelity workers have helped spruce up Elm Street Middle School as part of its annual School Transformation Day. This year, the company and the school district decided that Mount Pleasant was in need of some improvements.

"This is really exciting for us. It is pretty impressive to see all of these volunteers working in the rain and really making a difference for our school," said Principal Mary-Frances Tintle. "We have such an old building here, so the big mural and the little touch-ups are going to make a huge difference. I can't wait to see the kids' reaction."

In addition to all of the building improvements, Fidelity is also providing the school with copies of the book "Tale of Despereaux," which will be read by every student throughout the next school year.

April Baez, a Fidelity employee, said she feels inspired to volunteer each year on School Transformation Day. This year, she also recruited her husband and two children to participate by painting canvases that will be displayed in the school's cafeteria.

The transformation event was part of Fidelity's national partnership with HandsOn Network, an enterprise of Points of Light — the world's largest organization dedicated to volunteer service — to help revitalize the learning environment and support the educational needs of schools across the nation. The Nashua event is one of 13 similar efforts taking place by Fidelity throughout the country in partnership with HandsOn Network.

khoughton@newstote.com



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