by Kerri Flores and Brad Adams

Each year United Way coordinates a Day of Caring in October and brings in thousands of volunteers around the country to support local organizations.  This year, Sycamore Elementary, in the Vail School District, participated by involving community members to help with the first phase of an inclusive garden that will promote science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM).

Sycamore’s art teacher, Ms. Roby, and SUMS (Students Understanding Math and Science) teacher, Mrs. Tankersley, came together to design the interactive garden in which students will be able to work in a greenhouse, play on the alphabet pad, and decipher fractions.  Our Parent Teacher Association dedicated several hours to ordering materials and writing grants to pay for the project.

Because of the volunteers organized for Day of Caring, we had members from the National Bank of Arizona, Boys Scouts of America Troop 770, and afterschool club members and parents participate in phase 1, a very physical part of the process.  They worked together and were a tremendous help clearing gravel in preparation of making the area wheelchair accessible, building planters, and laying block.

Sycamore values community interaction and the support that we have received through this project has been invaluable.  Engaging in community service provides students with opportunities to become active members of their community and has a lasting, positive impact on society. Community service/volunteerism enables students to acquire life skills and knowledge, as well as provide a service to those who need it.

If you are interested in volunteering at Sycamore, please contact Kerri Flores at (520) 879-2515 or

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