Follow-Up: Mitchell Fifth Graders Makeover Community Park

MITCHELL, S.D. – A few months ago, we introduced you to an ambitious group of people teaming up to give a community park a little TLC. There’s just one catch – they’re fifth graders. After months of planning, it’s time for the finishing touches on a new Mitchell masterpiece. KDLT’s Allison Royal caught up with the fifth graders that may not be old enough to vote, but they’re making a big difference in their community.

“April showers bring May flowers. Help us fix the park!”

This is what Uptown park looked like not too long ago, but now, there’s a certain spunk about it.

“The trees were bare and so sad and it reminded me of the part in the movie where everything’s deserted and then you see the tumbleweed go by,” said Alexa. “That’s what I thought of when I saw this park.”

The makeover is thanks to Molly Becker’s fifth graders at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary School in Mitchell. You may remember that students picked a cause in the community they wanted to help. Students spent months planning and now, it’s time to bring the spark back to the park.

“When we come, it gets hectic, but when we’ve been leaving, I’ve been getting hugs from the kids and saying thank you for allowing us to be apart of this project,” said Becker.

They’re planting twenty flowers – one for each student. All of them learned grown-up skills along the way, like math and finance. Students fundraised and contacted community members to give this park some color.

“The kids actually calculated how much paint we would need and then how many gallons from that we would need to buy,” said Becker.

“It’s just so nice to see that something that the community lives around that we walk past everyday and doesn’t look very interesting – that I want to come here everyday now because this is beautiful,” said Destiny.

“We didn’t expect it to get this big,” said Kate.

Their months of hard work are bittersweet. This is Mrs. Becker’s first class, and next week, they’re off to middle school.

“We’re all just getting along great and it’s really fun,” said Hannah.

However, they’ll always remember everyone who lent a hand on this project. Mrs. Becker and each of her students have a hand print – forever leaving their mark on Uptown Park.

“All those skills they’ve talked about are really coming to life and that’s more than I could teach them in the classroom,” said Becker.

Brad Jamison and his family have owned the park since 1985.

“I just think that it’s a great thing for these kids at fifth grade age to go ahead and want to do something like this,” said Jamison. “I think it’s really nice. It’s a good little thing for Mitchell.”

Related Post