ANAHEIM, Calif. -- On a holiday Monday in Southern California, various staff, alumni and season-ticket holders of the Anaheim Ducks, aided by volunteers, descended on Mattie Lou Maxwell Elementary School to rejuvenate the school. The full-scale makeover to Maxwell Elementary was a special event known as the Anaheim Ducks Power Play! program.
With students and teachers off to commemorate Veterans Day, Ducks staff and alumni, including coach Bruce Boudreau and former captain Scott Niedermayer, participated in the restoration. The day-long activity involved planting trees and gardens in an effort to beautify the school, which has about 770 students representing at least 15 international languages.
Former Anaheim Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer lends a hand in planting a new tree near the entrance to Mattie Lou Maxwell Elementary School. (Photo: Anaheim Ducks)
"This is a great thing that the team is doing. Just to come out and help for a few hours is a lot of fun," Niedermayer, who works in the Ducks' hockey operations department, said. "It's going to be a pretty big change to the school, for sure."
The centerpiece was the construction of an outdoor floor-hockey rink. With the renovation taking place Monday, it was unveiled to the students when they returned to school the following day. Unaware that the Ducks would be participating in the program, children appeared overjoyed as they got to play on the rink for the first time, with Ducks mascot Wild Wing joining the festivities.
"There's a lot of pride in this community. It's just refreshing, and the rink is such a huge plus for our kids," principal Marcy Chant told the Ducks' website. "A lot of our kids don't have time to play sports after school. Now they can play hockey during and after school, which is a great plus."
In addition to the gardens, trees and rink, the school was outfitted with new campus murals. The unveiling coincided with a special "Reading is the GOAL!" assembly held by the Ducks. The incentive-based reading program is one part of a three-pronged program known as Anaheim Ducks S.C.O.R.E. (Scholastic Curriculum of Recreation and Education), which includes a math and science program as well as a street hockey physical education initiative.