We couldn’t be more excited to announce School Specialty’s latest collaboration with the College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation to complete the first Extra Yard Classroom Makeover Project at the Victor H. Hexter Elementary School in Dallas, Texas! As part of the CFP Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers initiative, our School Specialty and SSI Guardian teams are supporting schools nationwide with the innovative classroom supplies, furniture and equipment, technology, and security solutions they need to foster a safe, 21st Century Learning environment.
It is truly an honor to expand our collaboration with the CFP Foundation to support schools with the innovative tools and equipment they require to provide a full 21st Century Safe Learning experience that prepares all children for success in their professional and personal life. We are excited to play an active role in this wonderful initiative to transform classrooms and by extension, communities across the U.S. through more modern, safe environments that instill a passion for learning and offer greater educational opportunities. Investing in education is at the heart of School Specialty; we believe in our educators and their devotion to teaching; and we remain committed to delivering carefully curated, comprehensive solutions and resources, including technologies for unlocking the promise of a great education and a more secure environment for learning! This is our heritage and these are our hallmarks.
Joseph M. Yorio, President and Chief Executive Officer, School Specialty
Going the Extra Yard for Our Educators
As one of the early recipients, 4th Grade Math Teacher Candice Jimoh, on behalf of the Victor H. Hexter Elementary School in Dallas, received the first classroom makeover. As a strategic partner, the Projects by Design (PbD) and SSI Guardian teams worked side by side with the CFP Foundation, Principal Jennifer Jackson, Ms. Jimoh, and fellow staff members to transform the school’s math classroom into a technology-enabled and interactive learning space. An assortment of desks, tables, chairs, and various accessories such as carpets and clocks were sourced from School Specialty’s Classroom Select® line and various vendor partners. Specifically, NeoClass™ seating solutions which focus on motion, provide the kind of classroom flexibility and student collaboration required for a 21st Century education. Designed to meet ergonomic needs and stimulate alertness and creativity, the modern furnishings will allow Ms. Jimoh and her students to quickly and easily configure the math classroom to various instructional layouts, whether it’s for an engaging discussion, a group lecture, or an individual project. Equally welcoming are the built-in marker boards that the mobile desks and tables have, which will enable students to make notes and exchange ideas directly onto the multi-purpose furniture.
Technology Integration for the New Age Learner
Technology integration is also key to 21st Century Learning and Victor H. Hexter Elementary students now have access to the latest hi-tech applications and devices in their renovated classroom. These include the cutting-edge ActivPanel by Promethean which helps with team-based problem solving. Touch-screen features allow images to be manipulated and transform the traditional front-of-the-classroom interactive display into a collaborative learning center where students can simultaneously share. The latest functional tools will enable more visual and concrete instruction and increase learning in a comfortable, peer-sharing setting.
A 21st Century Education Requires a 21st Century Safe School Environment
Beyond the assortment of supplies and furniture, the SSI Guardian team is supporting the school with innovative equipment that empower administrators and staff with best practices for security. A 21st century education cannot exist without a 21st century safe school environment. Vital to classroom security, Victor H. Hexter Elementary will receive the Guardian QAL – Quick Action Lockdown, the only classroom deadbolt device meeting life and safety codes which is designed to meet Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recommendations for classroom lockdowns. This lock functions as a regular classroom lock for everyday use and when there is a need for a lockdown, pressing the red button instantly throws the deadbolt to the locked position. Other critical elements the school will have include NAR classroom trauma kits and lockdown shades.
This is a very special moment for the students and teachers at the Victor H. Hexter Elementary School, and we celebrate with them on their newly upgraded math classroom. Seeing the expressions of excitement and appreciation on everyone’s faces is what makes this program so rewarding. We are extremely thankful to School Specialty for their outstanding work on this project and are grateful for an experienced partner who understands what classrooms require to foster 21st Century Learning.
Britton Banowsky, Executive Director, College Football Playoff Foundation
In celebration of the 2016 Extra Yard for Teachers Week, an eight-day period (September 17-24, 2016) dedicated to celebrating educators throughout the country, the CFP Foundation in partnership with School Specialty, encouraged teachers nationally to submit an application for a chance to win a fully-funded classroom makeover. In total, ten schools would have a chance to win a classroom makeover. To date, six schools have been chosen and an additional four schools will be announced in conjunction with the CFP Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers Summit and Legacy Summit in Tampa, FL and Dallas, TX on January 7, and January 11, 2017, respectively.