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Sun Devil wrestling lends a hand at Wilson neighborhood clean up

October 01, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State University wrestling team took part in the annual Wilson Community Center Neighborhood Clean Up on Saturday, September 22, assisting in the efforts to clean up the area surrounding the Wilson Elementary School in Phoenix. The Sun Devils lent a hand to invigorate students, parents and community residents to take pride and ownership of their neighborhood. Over 300 students, parents, teachers and community volunteers worked along side the Sun Devil wrestlers in this year's event.

Access ASU and the Dorrance Family Foundation, in partnership with the Wilson School District, are promoting college attendance and providing opportunities for ASU students to get involved. On September 22, 2007, over 50 ASU students participated in the annual Wilson Elementary School District Neighborhood Clean-Up.

Organized by the Wilson Community Center, the day started at 8 a.m. with the Sun Devils breaking off into groups with the volunteering children to begin the clean up. Streets were cleared of debris and put in dumpsters placed throughout the school district. The City of Phoenix, specifically Councilman Michael Johnson of District 8, supported this clean up and provided the school with the necessary shovels, rakes, gloves, garbage bags, etc. to make this event a success.

The Wilson community is distinguished by a highly mobile, single parent impoverished population and is surrounded by substance abuse, prostitution and substandard housing. As an inner-city school district, Wilson Elementary School District serves approximately 1,500 children, many of which reside below the poverty level. Twenty-five percent of the children that attend Wilson School are classified as homeless while 75% live in dilapidated housing or local hotels. Ninety-eight percent of the total population qualifies for the free/reduced-cost Federal lunch program. According to the Arizona State Education Department data, Wilson School District is considered to be the most "at-risk" in Maricopa County.