Bales Elementary

Now with a commemorative sign outside of Bales Elementary School, students will look after a mile of Maricopa Road through the Adopt-a-Road program. (Bales Elementary School/Submitted)

Bales Elementary School in Buckeye, through the work of its National Junior Honors Society, adopted a mile of Maricopa Road to call its own.

In working with the city of Buckeye, the road is marked by a sign to represent Bales’ commitment to its community.

“I am very proud of our group,” said Ethan Filicicchia, president of the Bales Elementary National Junior Honors Society.

“We’ve done lots of amazing things for our community, and I’m really happy about what we’ve done. I’m very proud of us.”

The idea to adopt the road was conceived by the students at a National Junior Honors Society (NJHS) meeting. Out of their “brainstorming” process came an idea that would take off into the service project that sits in front of Bales Elementary School today.

“I think so often in the community, unless you have a child in the school or you’re really involved in the school, you don’t always know what happens inside of school building and education, which it’s so much bigger than just academics,” Bales Elementary Principal Brittany Tarango said.

“It is really part of why NJHS is so important. It’s not only our students that are really good students academically, but also have a passion and a heart for making their school and the community better.”

Students have taken to heart going beyond academics. They hope to inspire their peers. 

“Seeing the sign out there every day is huge, but then also the word really spreading through the community,” Tarango said. “(This inspires) other students who have the same feelings and the same wants and the same drive to do some things outside of their classroom. (They) now have that opportunity. 

“I think this is just the first of many things that can happen. The sky’s the limit.”

Tarango said she feels an immense sense of pride in her students.

“I couldn’t be more proud, and I couldn’t be more proud of it really being something that students led, because I know how amazing the students are in the school. I get to see it every single day,” Tarango said. “And it’s just another indication of how phenomenal kids are when we give them the freedom to dream and come up with ideas and really support their passions and interests.”