The area's largest church is coming to the aid of the area's largest school system. Three Rockford schools are headed for a makeover.
Heartland Community Church is donating $150,000 and a week's worth of volunteers' time to repair and restore East High School and Conklin and Froberg Elementary Schools.
All next week, volunteers will set to work painting, updating pipes and generally sprucing up the three schools. Rockford Superintendent Dennis Thompson says the school system is in a "break and fix" mode now. So without outside support, there is very little money for these types of repairs.
Dr. Thompson hopes repairing the structures will give students pride in the schools. He hopes that pride will then spread and improve the whole community.
"I really think it goes beyond just schools, it goes beyond the approach to community, you know, that we're going to make the whole community better and it's little ripples," says Superintendent Thompson.
Dr. Thompson says originally thirty schools in the district submitted wish lists of repairs they wanted done. He eventually narrowed the list down to East, Conklin and Froberg based on need
Dr. Thompson says this round of repairs will act as a test run. After that he and Heartland members, through the program called Sharefest, hope to expand to other needy schools in the district.