SAN ANTONIO — The school year is over for many across San Antonio, but already, some volunteers are looking ahead to the start of the new school year in the fall. In particular, those volunteers are focused on school security.
The team of volunteers were at Winston Elementary School in the Edgewood Independent School District on Friday to update and fix the security and intercom systems, as well as clean up the campus.
The volunteers are with a global security company called Convergent Technologies. All the work they completed on Friday was done at no cost to the district.
Friday's efforts are part of what is called the STEP initiative - Secure, Train, Educate and Protect - in response to recent school shootings at Parkland, Florida and Santa Fe, Texas.
"In wake of a lot of the school issues that have happened across the country our company decided to come out and go to areas that have underprivileged schools that obviously can't afford to do security work," said Kevin Popejoy, regional vice president with Convergint Technologies.
The company’s offices shut down on June 8th.
"Each local office finds something within their communities to give back," said Popejoy.
The group turned their attention to Winston because the wife of one of their colleagues is an art teacher here.
The school's existing security cameras have been in need of repairs for some time.
"It's just wear and tear,” said Denise Soto, energy manager for Edgewood ISD. “For example, we have cameras that have bubbles that cover our actual device but just from the heat they were out."
The district says nearly 500 students are on this campus on a typical school day.
A couple of new cameras and upgrades were provided through donations.
For good measure, the volunteers also cleaned up the outer walls, put on a fresh coat of paint for one of the hallways, and replanted the school's garden.
"It's a small action, but has a significant impact on their everyday learning," said Soto.