RIVERDALE — The Heart of America Foundation and FedEx teamed up for a volunteer beautification project Friday at Harper Elementary School.

HOA Foundation’s mission is to help transform learning environments in under-resourced schools.

“This sends a very strong message to students and educators that there’s a strong community that cares for them,” said Colleen Noland, vice president of programs at HOA.

FedEx chose Harper Elementary as the beneficiary of the volunteer project.

Principal Tangela Benjamin said she was ecstatic.

“I’m thankful and honored,” she said. “Our kids can see that people do care and that folks are excited about their education.

Volunteers painted colorful murals on a wall of the school’s cafeteria and inspirational quotes on walls in bathrooms.

Benjamin said she requested the quotes because they offer a positive message to students.

“Words matter, and I believe you can call things into existence,” she said. “If they see positive words, they can make it a great day.”

Students received books and a bag and teachers were given classroom supplies.

“Literacy has always been near to our heart,” Noland said. “That’s why we started giving away books; they’re a vital resources to literacy.”

Volunteers also spent time visiting classrooms and reading to students throughout the day.

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