Local parent launches outreach project at Luverne School

Published 9:50 am Sunday, July 30, 2023

Luverne School students will soon return to campus where a surprise awaits them – new picnic tables and shaded break areas – all thanks to the efforts of community volunteers. The project was initiated by a concerned parent, Lynn Kilpatrick, who acknowledged the need for the children to have a shaded place to enjoy their breaks. 

“I started this project because every day when I picked my daughter up from school, I would notice the kids had no shade,” Kilpatrick said. “There used to be trees that provided some shade for them, but they got cut down. Then I noticed the picnic tables were in bad need of repair, so I asked Principal Michael Kilpatrick if myself and my husband could donate to shading those areas and repairing or replacing the tables. He told us we absolutely could.”

Kilpatrick seized the opportunity to improve the school’s campus, partnering with Luverne School junior high teacher Julie Albritton to gather donations. The volunteers took to social media to bring light to the need, and to raise the funds needed to see the project through.  

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Kilpatrick expressed her gratitude for the assistance she has received thus far from Albritton, Luverne School Principal Michael Kilpatrick, and the community. 

“I am very thankful for the support from Julie and Mr. Kilpatrick,” she said. “They were very helpful in helping me get the money raised, and making sure we did everything by the school code. We also had several parents and businesses donate and we appreciate everyone so much.” 

Albritton complimented the generosity of those who donated and provided the manpower to execute the project.

“We are really proud of the way the community stepped up,” Albritton said. “There is some serious sweat equity by the stakeholders that came out and helped. It would not have been done if not for the community and we are so thankful.” 

The first phase of the project has been completed thanks to a multitude of contributions, but according to Kilpatrick, there is still work to be done. While the project’s initial focus was on the junior high building, Kilpatrick and Albritton noticed a need beyond there. They have decided to continue their efforts to also add new tables and shaded areas to other parts of the school that are in need, such as the elementary area and the band area. 

“So far we were able to put up four shade cells, seven picnic tables, and we have four more tables on the way,” Kilpatrick said. “We want to help all the students, not just the junior high students. It turned out to be a bigger project than we anticipated, but I would do it all again.”

Contributions to this project can be made to Lynn Kilpatrick or Julie Albritton. For more information, contact Luverne School at 334-335-3331.