Taking Care of Teachers and Students: Staff Appreciation Lounge & School Store – Booker T. Washington
The Heart of the School Fund provides funding for principal-identified school enhancement projects that support classroom instruction and student learning, staff professional development and school site improvements such as beautification projects, outdoor classrooms and community food pantries.
At the start of this school year, Booker T. Washington Middle School applied for a Heart of the School Fund grant to create a staff appreciation lounge and a student-run school store. In an effort to maximize momentum built in the previous school year around cultivating belonging and student's voice, the school opted to pursue projects that prioritized the needs of both staff and students. Among the strategies outlined in their school climate and culture plan is a focus on teacher’s well-being. The school encourages educators to practice self-care and restorative techniques to ensure they are prepared to serve their students. Students are able to showcase their leadership skills with the student-run school store. Students are also able to earn points to buy store goods through the school’s rewards incentive program that celebrates and acknowledges students' positive behaviors and contributions.
Take a look at what Booker T. Washington staff and students had to say about the impact of these projects:
“The school store will make Booker T. a better place by providing students with a reason to be a better version of themselves!” - Donjay Jones, Grade 8
“Our school store has encouraged more of our students to be their BEST daily and it has improved our students' engagement during instruction. Students are excited about earning points to purchase school merchandise.” - Jasmine Ward, Grade 7 ELA
“The school store is a great way to show students how doing their BTW B.E.S.T pays off!” - Janill Bobbitt, Special Education
“I love the teachers' lounge color scheme and it looks very inviting.” - Kimberly Randolph, Paraeducator
“Thanks to the Heart of the Schools Grant, we have further been able to support the social-emotional well-being of our students and staff. The renovated Teacher's lounge has provided a space to further cultivate wellness and community amongst our staff, while the school store has created opportunities for student leadership and positive rewards to support our schoolwide B.E.S.T. system!” - Principal Ford
This is one of many examples of the outstanding projects principals are implementing through the Heart of the School Fund.