Law students roll up their sleeves to help Chicago public school

DePaul’s Pro Bono Community Service Initiative (PBCSI) hosted its first Donate-A-Day service project for the 2013-2014 academic year at A.N. Pritzker Elementary School, a pre-K through 8th grade Chicago Public School in Wicker Park, in September. Throughout the day, law student volunteers worked hard to beautify the school by painting hallways and the cafeteria, planting bulbs and flowers, and cleaning and organizing classrooms.

Law students work on gardening project at Pritzker.
DePaul’s Student Bar Association and Phi Alpha Delta co-sponsored the event. Many of the volunteers developed an appreciation for gardening; other volunteers impressed the school administrators with their painting abilities. During the lunch break, the volunteers had an opportunity to meet several Pritzker parents and students, who personally thanked them for their hard work on behalf of the school. The parents talked with the students about Pritzker and distributed cookies. "Meeting a few of Pritzker's parents and students was a nice surprise. They were very happy to have us at their school and we were happy to be there," explained Desalina Williams, PBCSI’s Donate-A-Day student coordinator.

DePaul students prepare to paint Pritzker cafeteria.
PBCSI is very involved with Pritzker Elementary School. For several years, PBCSI has devoted one of its Donate-A-Day service projects to the school. In addition, each spring PBCSI hosts Pritzker’s 6th graders for a field trip, where the students observe a mock trial and participate in mock law classes taught by DePaul professors. The annual field trip is an opportunity to introduce Pritzker students to the legal profession and attending law school. PBCSI also coordinates a school supply drive for Pritzker’s homeless students and sends law students to the school on a weekly basis to tutor students. Many of the law students participate in more than one volunteer activity, allowing them to connect with the Wicker Park community through their service. Ultimately, the community service work benefits law students and the elementary school students in unique and meaningful ways. 

Law student organizes classroom materials for Pritzker teachers.