Thanks to a $5,000 Lowe’s ProService donation Saturday, Aiken High’s Parent Teacher Student Organization will obtain signs and banners as part of its beautification program.

Dr. Cindy Besson, the current PTSO president, had a major role in starting the long-term project in 2010.

“We’ve been cleaning up the campus and not just trash,” she said. “Now we’ve gotten more funding that we needed.”

Sandra Zander, an assistant manager at Lowe’s in Aiken, said the company awards donations on an annual basis.

“Lowe’s gives back to school, community organizations and more,” Zander said.

Ed Denehy of the ProServices division said the store in Aiken had also awarded a grant to Strom Thurmond High School in Edgefield County.

Parent Lisa Tindal wrote the grant application based on the proposal of another parent, Melissa Riley.

“We’re planning to obtain directional signs and place them throughout the campus,” Tindal said. “We want to create a really cohesive environment for new parents and visitors who wonder about the way to go around the school.”

The funds will also bring banners that can advertise the school – not just in location, but in promoting the school’s character and excellent academic reputation, Besson said.

“Our beautification committee wants to build morale and pride, looking for visual ways to help that happen,” Riley said. “We started out doing more maintenance and picking up trash. Now we’re to the point where we can plant more and put attractive kinds of things on campus. Our goal is to directly affect learning and positive feelings about the school.”

Seniors Jovanna Orozco and Caroline Burnau have enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the PTSO projects. Both appreciate the new science wing that is under construction and should open during the 2013-14 school year.

“It’s been really fun doing this over the last three years (through) Serteen,” Orozco said. “With the cleanup, everything looks nicer. It’s good to see people cleaning up and making our school prettier.”