Austin middle school gets surprise makeover

AUSTIN - While most kids are used to their classes winding down around this time, a group of Austin middle schoolers had a little bit of a different experience during their last day of the fall semester.

The students at Martin Middle School had a pep rally Monday morning before working on revamping their school. The company Appreciation Financial chose Martin for one of its service projects. They worked from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on multiple projects, letting the kids take part in the work as well.

Monica De La Garza-Conness is the school's principal, and she said she is happy the company chose her school and got her kids involved.

"It's our responsibility as educators, not only to teach our students common core curriculum or the state's curriculum, but it's also important for us to teach them how to be part of a community," De La Garza-Conness said.

The volunteers and kids created a new mural in one of the school's main hallways and made new benches, along with other projects. The company also paid for a new app that will allow the teachers to communicate with their students and parents as well.

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