Celtics, Students Team Up for Community Assists Day

BOSTON – One of the most anticipated events of the year came to fruition Monday as the Boston Celtics joined forces with Boston Middle Schools for “Community Assists Day,” sponsored by the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation. Members of the Celtics staff, along with guard Sasha Pavlovic and legend Dana Barros, visited 18 middle schools and 450 eighth-graders throughout Boston to help with their service projects.

Pavlovic and Barros spent time at Washington Irving School as the students worked on three projects.

The eighth-graders were eager to get to work because they knew how important community service was to their school.

Sasha Pavlovic, Dana Barros

Sasha Pavlovic helps to turn over soil at the 2011 Community Assists Day.
Ashley Earle/Boston Celtics

“It (community service) motivates people to do better in the classroom,” said one student.

Another added, “It gives people pride in their school when their surroundings are nice and improved.”

With those thoughts in mind, the school decided to do three projects. One consisted of landscaping the front of the school by adding new soil and flowers. Another project was the building of a school store, and the last one involved designing a school mural.

As Pavlovic and Barros arrived in front of the school, they were greeted by the students with Celtics chants! It was obvious that they were excited that the duo were going to join them in their efforts to improve their school. After introductions were made, no time was spared in giving them two shovels to help overturn the soil. With guidance and instructions from the students, Pavlovic and Barros were actively participating in no time.

“I was impressed by how enthusiastic the students were to landscape,” said Barros. “They really take pride in their school.”

After helping with the first service project, Pavlovic and Barros entered the school to check on the progress of the design for the school mural. Four students who excelled in art were selected to create sketches for the mural.

“Wow. You guys are hard at work,” said Barros as he and Pavlovic joined the students. “What ideas have you come up with?”

One drawing was of the Headless Horseman. Washington Irving had penned Sleepy Hollow and the image was in tribute to him. Other ideas consisted of inspirational quotes that students would see daily, intertwined with images related to the school and the Celtics.

Pavlovic and Barros were interested to see where the mural would be so the group headed outside once again to see the location. As the group was walking, Pavolvic commented on how excited the students were.

“They are taking this mural seriously and that’s great,” he said. “They want to leave a lasting imprint on their school that they admire so much.”

Following the viewing of the mural location, Pavlovic and Barros set off to paint the walls and shelves for the new school store.

The two looked like naturals as they worked with students. After viewing “before” photos of the space, Pavlovic was amazed at the progress that was made.

“You guys are efficient at this,” remarked Pavlovic. “You guys have already painted a lot of shelves. This store is going to look great!”

The school store was a very important project for the school. With no drinking water in the school, students had to bring their own water bottles with them. The school, in turn, would sell bottled water at a cheap price but with no place to manage this, the system was becoming convoluted. The school store would ensure a centralized location for water as well as other snacks and items for students.

“Washington Irving is doing a lot to ensure their school remains at a high quality for their students now and in the future,” said Pavlovic. “I’m honored that Dana and I were able to help with the projects. We met a lot of great students today and I loved the passion and enthusiasm they had for improving their school!”