There are easier ways Dawn Peterson could have caught a glimpse of the prekindergarten class room she'll soon occupy at Dexter Elementary in Cordova.
But instead of waiting until July 31, when she and her fellow teachers are expected to report to work for the new school year, Peterson elected to spend one of her last summer Saturdays at Dexter this weekend pulling weeds.
"It was nice to just kind of get a feel for the school," the first-year teacher said.
She certainly got a feel for the gardens.
Peterson and about 35 other people, including returning and new teachers, their families and other community volunteers, spent the morning beautifying Dexter. The school was one of nine Shelby County Schools elementaries to receive a face lift before classes start Aug. 7.
Principal Angela Holloway-Payne said she was grateful for the support, the first step in readying the school for students.
"With our school being beautified like this, it sends a message that we are eager to have our kids in the school and ready to teach them," she said. "So it’s a part of the whole piece."