University of Alabama students visited Central Elementary School Tuesday morning, but they were there for more than just socialization.

UA’s annual Ripple Effect community service event features student volunteers helping out at schools or other local organizations in need ahead of school starting.

Volunteers gathered to paint murals and inspirational quotes on the school’s walls.

Central Elementary Principal Monte Linegarger said the college presence is a great influence on his students.

“It gives our boys and girls the opportunity to see somebody who may not look like them, who may not talk like them, but we all have the same goal,” he said. “It’s all about student achievement, and these students here from the University of Alabama, they help encourage our boys and girls. They give them the opportunity to dream.”

The event is designed to introduce new college students to their classmates, along with helping them make a positive impact on the community.

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