When you walk into Change for Kids partner school Brighter Choice Community School, the college theme is hard to miss. Bulletin boards are decked out with college flags, graduation garb, and feature interviews with teachers about their alma maters. Each classroom is named after a college and students are always encouraged by staff that they can achieve anything.
That’s because every child, every day, is college bound at Brighter Choice Community School.
This past weekend, Change for Kids hosted the first school beautification day at Brighter Choice with some incredible volunteers from the TEAK Fellowship and The Virginia Club of New York. Volunteers spent Saturday morning painting canvases with college logos to hang outside the classroom doors and represent each class.
The TEAK Fellowship, a program that helps talented students from low-income families achieve their potential, has volunteered with CFK for the past two years for an annual service day for mentors and fellows. Vanessa Greer, TEAK’s Director of College Success, said school beautification days give TEAK fellows the opportunity to give back to neighborhoods they may have grown up in. (One TEAK fellow who volunteered grew up a few blocks from Brighter Choice!)
Greer mentioned that supporting public schools is important and aligns with TEAK’s goals. She said she hopes that this project will show Brighter Choice students that so many people support them, even outside the school community.
“The school space is really important to feel part of a community and feel safe and loved,” Greer said.
“It means a lot [for a student] to go to school and see beautiful paintings and feel like [he or she] belongs there.”
The Virginia Club of New York, an alumni association for the University of Virginia, is also a returning CFK volunteer group. The canvases were actually sketched and designed by Lorna Zhen, a board member at the Virginia Club of New York and CFK muralist extraordinaire! The Virginia Club volunteers saw the school beautification day as an opportunity to inspire Brighter Choice students to go to college. (University of Virginia, maybe?!)
Thank you, TEAK Fellowship and The Virginia Club of New York, for bringing Brighter Choice Community School’s motto to life in each classroom!