NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Thousands of volunteers gave dozens of public schools across the city a much-needed facelift as part of “New York Cares Day.”

CBS 2’s Ilana Gold caught up with volunteers hard at work at PS 165 Robert Simon in Morningside Heights.

Dozens of volunteers at the school cleaned out classrooms and gave them a complete overhaul.

“We have to basically take all the classrooms apart and then put them all back together,” volunteer Heather Nidetch said.

The volunteers gave the century-old school new life with buckets of paint and a few brush strokes to brighten it up.

The volunteers revitalized 70 schools across the five boroughs Saturday, Gold reported.

“Some kids are amazed that people from outside of their community take the time to come to their school,” Executive Director Gary Bagley said.

Besides cleaning and organizing, the volunteers also helped the kids with sports and arts projects, taking the time to teach students an important life lesson.

“One of the things we instill in our children are positivity, community and giving back,” Dean of Students at PS 165 Howard Sellers said. “It inspires some of them…especially my young artists.”

In the spring, volunteer programs target parks and outdoor spaces.

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