One of Skyview Elementary’s hallways is decorated with trees made out of pool noodles, black duct tape and tissue paper. Each door is decorated with a Dr. Suess book, from “The Lorax” to “Oh, The Places You’ll Go.”
The Dr. Seuss theme extends beyond classroom decor. It’s incorporated into the curriculum to engage and energize students. The teaching model is inspired by The Ron Clark Academy, a nonprofit middle school in Atlanta that embraces an unconventional approach to teaching at-risk and low-income students.
And now, thanks to the 100 Women of Lake Highlands, Skyview Elementary educators can implement some of The Ron Clark Academy’s practices. The neighborhood nonprofit voted to donate more than $30,000 to Skyview to cover the cost of a conference in June, a two-day training session at The Ron Clark Academy in July and supplies needed to transform the school.
The additional funding provides teachers the tools to support students at the school, board president Amy Timmerman says.
“With this grant, we’ll be able to duplicate a lot more than we thought we could,” instructional coach Angela Guesby says.
Principal Katrina Collins is overseeing the school’s reinvention in her first year leading the school. She’s adamant that the school prioritizes research-based teaching methods, social-emotional learning for staff and students, and increased parent involvement.
She’s especially excited, she says, about another opportunity to “plant good seeds” at Skyview.
“If you plant a little love, a lot of love comes up,” she says.