Cats in the Community Thanks Project Leaders

Cats in the Community Thanks Project Leaders

By University Communications
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Planning team members, work crew leaders and corporate sponsors for The University of Arizona's annual Cats in the Community Day volunteer effort gathered yesterday to see the fruits of their labor at the Tucson Urban League's Project YES site.

More than 500 volunteers went to work in March to transform Project YES, or Youth Enrichment Services, an after-school  tutoring and mentoring facility at 100 W. 37th St.

Yesterday's gathering at the completed site was held to thank some of the event's key players for their efforts to improve the facility through monetary contributions and projects like painting, building picnic tables and preparing library books.

Each year, volunteers with Cats in the Community Day, which is organized by the UA Office of Community Relations, partner with a local non-profit organization in need.

Project YES serves about 100 elementary and middle school students in South Tucson. At yesterday's event, some of those students presented Cats in the Community Day leaders with a book containing photos and poems thanking the UA for its work. The students also had a chance to play on the playground with special guest Wilma the Wildcat.

Faculty, staff and students volunteered more than 1,900 hours for this year's Cats in the Community Day. Cash and in-kind donations for the project reached more than $46,000 to cover project materials and supplies.

Among other things, participants in the volunteer effort achieved the following: 

  • Repaired and repainted the facility's stucco exterior
  • Painted the facility's entire interior
  • Graphic arts students designed and created a mural on the exterior walls
  • Renovated the facility's computer systems by refurbishing 20 computers and procuring new, age-appropriate educational software
  • Created a private tutoring area in a previously unused part of the building
  • Designed a "resource room" where children can work with maps, encyclopedias and computers
  • Constructed 12 picnic tables with benches, eight free standing benches and a backpack rack
  • Trimmed trees, weeded and cleaned up the grounds
  • Purchased 200 books and encyclopedias for the Project YES library
  • Procured grants and donations to allow for the installation of a playground shade structure, new carpeting and a security system

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