By Lisa Carolin
The media center at South Meadows Elementary School has become a destination for students and staff thanks to a number of improvements that have been made in the last year-and-a-half with help from the Chelsea Education Foundation.
The improvements include flexible seating such as chairs, stools and a sofa, tables, reading domes, and a new media clerk check out station.
“Students and staff alike enjoy coming into the media center because it looks inviting and engaging,” said Stacie Battaglia, principal of South Meadows. “In addition, it offers the opportunity to collaborate more comfortably and easily. All of the furniture moves very easily and can be rearranged for whatever purpose we need.”
Media clerk Krista Bradley often rearranges seating in the media center during each day depending on the activities.
The Chelsea Education Foundation implemented a large grant proposal for the first time, funded in part by an October 2018 breakfast.
“We funded $24,000 for the project, $9,000 of which came from Howdy Holmes,” said Lynn Fox, president of the CEF. “When he saw what we were trying to do, he increased his donation in an effort to let people know he felt this was an important project, and that the CEF was helping the community in a big way, hoping other people would step up too.”
“The idea behind the large grant was to offer an entire building the opportunity to benefit from CEF funding in the form of a larger scale option,” explained Battaglia. “South wrote a proposal to update our media center in hopes of not only remodeling, but also updating how we use the space. We wanted to offer more opportunity to students in the area of modern learning as well as offer a more comfortable and friendly atmosphere.”
South Meadows also benefited from a grant from Lenawee Oils that owns Chelsea’s Perky Pantry, and from the PTO, both of which helped the school acquire collaborative work stations using Apple TV and monitors, and the addition of a maker space area that uses coding robots, building blocks, and a Lego wall for engineering related activities.
Old materials were weeded out of the media center, which was painted during spring break. All the new items were in place and being used as of mid-April.