FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. - Breana Davis spent Saturday morning walking around the Meade High School campus wearing rubber gloves and dragging a large garbage bag behind her. She periodically stopped to pick up trash near the school.

"You got to do what you got to do," the sophomore said.

Breana joined more than 100 other students, faculty and community members in sprucing up the school's exterior during the third annual Meade High School Beautification Day. The cleanup began at 8 a.m. and volunteers labored into the early afternoon.

"I don't really get to do this kind of stuff at home," Meade High junior Tim Yoo said. "It's fun."

Projects included weeding flower beds, mulching, painting, trash cleanup, construction of new sign boards and stone walls around gardens, and planting a staff garden.

In the past two years, the event was held the weekend prior to the start of school as a way to launch the school year. This year, however, event organizer and school psychologist Shira Reicher moved the activities to end the school year.

Craig Spicer, a graduated senior who participated in last year's cleanup as a student, said the weather was much better to work in this time of year.

"I did it last year and I had a lot of fun," he said. "This year it's perfect."

Although he will be attending Loyola University in Baltimore in the fall, Spicer expects to participate in future Beautification Days at Meade High.

"As long as they keep on having it, I'll keep on coming," he said. "It's my school, it's the school I graduated from. I feel obligated to make sure that it's nice."

Meade High Principal Daryl Kennedy said he was proud of the numerous alumni who spent their first weekend as high school graduates back at the school. In addition to helping build character and work ethics, Beautification Day makes the students feel more a part of their school, Kennedy said.

"They're a part of the [Meade] Mustang family and they want to stay a part of it," he said.

Yoo said he attended the event to help make the school look better. He spent the early part of the day weeding and mulching around the trees near the front entrance. He said it is "a good idea" to get the students involved in cleaning the school grounds.

"Who else is going to do it?" he asked.

Students were joined by several Meade High teachers including Masami Stratton, who said that once students participate in sprucing up the grounds, they are more likely to keep the area clean.

"It's good to get dirty because then you know what it takes to keep it nice," Stratton said.

A government and international baccalaureate history teacher, Stratton participated in the event to "give back" to the place where she works and to be a role model for her students.

"It's good to give back," she said. "This is a place where I work and I see every day, and it's nice for it to look nice."

Page last updated Thu June 9th, 2011 at 15:09