One East County school has won the equivalent of a beautification golden ticket.

Come April 26, hundreds of folks will swarm Park Middle School for a Comcast Cares Day.

The Antioch campus is one of just 16 in California to win the prize, and the only recipient from Contra Costa County.

The event is the company's annual day of service, when its employees and their families and friends partner with organizations on projects that benefit the communities where they live and work.

"We are all very excited about having Comcast Cares come to our school," said John Jimno, Park principal. "It is first an honor to be chosen and humbling to have so many community members advocating for our school."

And, Jimno knows just how much help the campus needs. Since its opening in the 1960s, not much has been updated. And he should know -- he attended Park as a student in the late '80s.

"We have an older (campus) that needs a lot of TLC. The work we have slotted, with the assistance of our maintenance department, will be a good start. You can't tackle the whole thing in one day, but the scope of the work they have planned with us is impressive," he said.

Earlier this year, Comcast Cares organizers spoke to the Antioch City Council and the Antioch Unified School District about possible candidates, and Park was selected.


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Aside from a dozen classrooms getting updated via a bond measure, the school has not had any significant modernization in its 53 years. There are numerous areas on the large campus in need of upgrades and freshening up.A big part of the upcoming day will be spent on the sixth-grade area, which houses about 330 students in 12 portables.

For many students and visitors, the dated area doesn't leave a favorable impression. The fix-it list includes some painting, weeding, flower planting and sprucing up the nearby courtyard.

The principal and staff are thrilled about getting the Comcast Cares treatment, knowing it will give the nearly 1,000 students a sense of pride in their school.

For Jimno, just as important as the beautification is the outpouring of support.

"This is an opportunity to collectively work as school staff, students, parents and community for a common purpose and investment for our children. I am hoping we all take advantage of investing our time into something that will give back immediate rewards in how we feel at the end of the day and how our campus looks. It will be a great day."

each Trine Gallegos at TrineG@att.net.

TO HELP
To find out how to help Park Middle School, call 925-779-7420. To register for Comcast Cares event, visit www.comcastinthecommunity.com.