For the 22nd year in a row, volunteers with New York Cares fanned out across the city Saturday to spruce up the public schools.
Six thousand volunteers participated in "New York Cares Day Fall" at 90 schools across the five boroughs.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott and New York Cares director Gary Bagley joined dozens of volunteers at Columbia Secondary School in Morningside Heights to kick off the event.
"Our goal today is to make the spaces of New York City's public schools an even brighter and more welcoming learning environment for the students who will come back here on Monday," Bagley said.
"They help our schools throughout New York City by bringing volunteers, to paint murals, to work on cleanup projects, to even get into closets to organize closets," Walcott said.
"This is a great opportunity to spend time," said one volunteer. "I'm giving back to people who really need it and to our future."
Organizers said that if the city had to pay for it, the work volunteers perform on this day would be worth nearly $1 million.