It started with Extreme School Makeover in summer 2008. July 2010 is no different. Five schools are on the list for Project Shine this year – Truman High School and Glendale, Luff, Christian Ott and Randall elementary schools. Lori Worth Smith said it is hard to believe that the community continues to support an event such as Project Shine.

It started with Extreme School Makeover in summer 2008. Six schools annexed into western Independence were revitalized through simple tasks such as cleaning, painting and landscaping. More than 3,000 people participated.

A year later, Project Shine was born. The goal – to make buildings shine.

July 2010 is no different. Five schools are on the list for Project Shine this year – Truman High School and Glendale, Luff, Christian Ott and Randall elementary schools. Lori Worth Smith said it is hard to believe that the community continues to support an event such as Project Shine.

“I feel like this has become a community event that people look forward to each year,” she said. “It is about the kids because the kids are our future. They want to come together to do what is best for them.”

Project Shine is July 17. Four to five different schools are picked each year with the goal of eventually making it to each one in the district. Much like Extreme School Makeover, volunteers will be cleaning, painting and landscaping as well as other simple and easy projects at each site.

Worth Smith said volunteers are the key to making the event a success. She said many have already registered to participate, including those from the faith-based community, civic organizations and the Independence City Council.

“The support we get for this event every year is fantastic,” she said. “We have volunteers from every part of the community. It is amazing how many phone calls I get from those who are interested in helping.”
In addition to volunteers, Project Shine is looking for corporate sponsors as well as donations.

Worth Smith said what is exciting is seeing the Project Shine concept grow and move into other communities. She said more students are getting involved in their schools, creating a family and community-type atmosphere.

“I think what is so endearing about this is that everyone is coming together as one,” she said. “The Independence School District has done an incredible job of bringing this community together. Now we are seeing that concept spread outside of Independence. I think it is fantastic that the idea is catching on.”