The first graders in room 125 at Beitel Elementary School have been working all year to impact the Laramie community. Their hard work paid off on Thursday afternoon with the “Make A Difference” Celebration in which they unveiled an addition to the “Welcome to Laramie” sign on Snowy Range Road near Kiwanis Park.

Before uncovering the sign, all of the first grade students spoke to everyone present with help from their teachers, Ms. Johnson and Mrs. Schenk. They thanked Blue Collar Consulting for helping them build the sign and thanked Laramie businesses for their donations. During the speech it was mentioned that Albany County School District No. 1 Superintendent, Dr. Brian Recht, called Laramie “a unique educational community” and they designed the sign to reflect that thought. Laramie City Council member Roger McKinley cut the ribbon on the sign and cake was enjoyed by all.

The sign is in the shape of a schoolhouse and is outlined with the first graders’ hand prints. It shows that Laramie is home to the University of Wyoming, WyoTech, the Albany County Campus of LCCC, and ACSD1 which includes Laramie High School.

The first graders hosted a free family fun night to raise almost $700 for the sign. The event on May 11 involved twenty Minute to Win It games and raffles for prizes that were donated by local businesses. Then they went before the Laramie City Council to get approval, which they got unanimously.

Ms. Johnson and Mrs. Schenk began encouraging their first grade students to impact the community a few years ago through various “Make A Difference” projects. They say they already have possible ideas for next year, including adding more flowerbeds downtown or doing something with the graffiti wall at Labonte Park.