ESJH alumni coming back for cleaning project – “It’s important to give back to set an example”

Published 12:14 am Wednesday, March 20, 2019

RESERVE — East St. John High School alumni will gather Saturday to pressure wash and paint the exterior of the school while setting an example of active involvement for the current generation of students.

Organizer Autry Alexis, class of 1979, said all alumni are invited to join two cleanup shifts from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided onsite.

According to Alexis, inspiration for a cleanup day came after an alumni association meeting at the school, when members walked along the buildings and saw potential for improvement.

“It’s important to give back to set an example for the students,” Alexis said. “When students see us coming back, giving back and building a path, they will do the same. We’re basically doing what we saw when we were students, and we want them to see us being engaged with East St. John and showing that we care.”

The cleanup day was made possible through collaboration with St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools and East St. John High administration and maintenance teams.

Volunteers will pressure wash the exteriors of the main building and freshman building, as well as the breezeway behind the main building.

Alumni will also restripe the front parking lot, repaint benches and touch up other areas.

According to Alexis, Saturday’s alumni cleanup is a first for East St. John, and there are plans to continue hosting cleanup days after school lets out for summer.

Future phases will involve restriping parking lots in the back of the school, planting flowers and repairing a damaged statue on school grounds.

“We want to see what the response is on Saturday and how much we can get done,” Alexis said.

“Then we can truly measure what we can do. When the students return to school in Fall ’19, we want them to feel welcomed into a very fresh environment.”

Alumni Association member Emery Dents, class of 1979, said cleanup efforts would give students a new respect for their school.

“We want to make a clean environment, a better environment for the students,” Dents said. “We want to give them more pride in our school.”

While the class of 1979 took the initiative in organizing the cleanup day, Dents said all alumni are welcome.

Alexis expects approximately 30 volunteers to turn out Saturday, including East St. John High alumni from various classes and a few alumni of Leon Godchaux High School.

For more information, call 404-364-8398.