Change isn’t always hard. Just ask the teachers at Green Dot Public Schools’ two campuses on the Henry Clay Learning Complex.
Last month, they returned from an otherwise routine weekend to find their schools, Ánimo Western Charter Middle School and Ánimo Phillis Wheatley Charter Middle School, altered.
Addressing Community Needs
“We wanted to do a little something to show our appreciation for their work and to provide them with a couple of places on campus where they can collaborate and rejuvenate while on campus,” explained said Dr. Cristina de Jesus, President and Chief Executive Officer, Green Dot Public Schools California.
Green Dot believes that the first step to investing in our students is to invest in our teachers. And so 23 Green Dot employees – including de Jesus – decided they would take the weekend to renovate and refresh the two schools. They identified two areas in need of a little TLC: classrooms and the teachers’ lounges. And then they got to work.
In several hours, we went from good to great. Volunteers transformed teacher work rooms by cleaning, decorating, painting and creating a space for teachers to work and relax. They painted the faculty restrooms and added pictures, furniture and supplies. Several classrooms were cleaned, organized and restocked with supplies.
“The faculty at our transformation schools is working above and beyond expectations,” Hurley said. “Their work is very demanding day in and day out. As an organization, we find ways to recognize their hard work and show our appreciation. It was an honor to give a few hours on a Saturday to say thank you to such a hard working staff.”
Before and After: The teachers’ lounge at Ánimo Western Charter Middle School
All Stakeholders Are Critical in the Education Process
Achieving excellence requires that everyone take responsibility for their roles in the success of students, colleagues, and the larger organization. But that doesn’t mean anyone has to go it alone.
By volunteering their weekend, our team members directly impacted the lives of educators and students in true Green Dot fashion: by going above and beyond and leading by example.
“The teachers at the Henry Clay Learning Complex are tackling some of the most challenging issues in public education on a daily basis,” de Jesus said.
When teachers arrived to school after the weekend, they were delighted to find that someone had taken the time and care to update their spaces. “The teachers feel very appreciated and love the new look and spaces,” said Jomaira Perez, a school team member. “They feel they now have a warm space that is welcoming.”
For the staff doing the work, it also provided an opportunity to reinforce a central Green Dot tenet: that people can be more powerful as a group than alone.
And the results proved so popular that another day of work is being scheduled. The teachers just aren’t being told when.