Brainerd High School students traded out the summer reading books for paint brushes and pressure washers Friday morning.

The students invited workers from Unum and students from Baylor School's community service program to help tidy up Brainerd High School.

"Basically, we're just making our school a better place, making it look better on the outside," said Brainerd student Isiah Long. "So when you look good on the outside, you're going to do well on the inside. If you look good, you do good."

The volunteers helped paint doors and do various landscaping projects. Assistant Principal Dr. Charles Mitchell said the project is long overdue, saying some of the school's bushes have been there since 1958.

"It's going to mean tremendous pride for our students to have a facility to where they come in and they can have pride, to see that the courtyard has been taken care of, there's been plants, there's been mulch, there's been landscaping, there's been things done to where kids can have a sense of pride and a sense of ownership," Dr. Mitchell said.

The cleanup offered Brainerd students a chance to collaborate with their peers from Baylor, network with local business leaders and show-off their school.

Unum spent more than $20,000 to help Brainerd High School.