Student Quotes from a Messy Friday Afternoon

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It definitely got hectic last Friday as students helped assemble and move furniture, painted and cleaned around the building. Making space for students to do this work requires lots of flexibility and patience from adults. The process can be messy and haphazard. The paint jobs aren’t perfect and no matter how much tape and drop cloth we use, some will inevitably end up on the floor. In retrospect, when the mess is cleaned up, so many beautiful student reflections reappear. I’d like to share a few:

Kailany: “I can’t believe we are really painting. This really is our school. I said we should paint chalkboards. I really can’t believe someone listened.”

Isabella: “My dad is a contractor, let me show you what he taught me about how to roll on even coats of paint.”

Xhiara: “If we don’t finish, do you think we could come on a weekend or stay after school one day? Since we painted this room and we are the founding class, maybe we can put our hand prints on a wall?”

CJ talking to his work partner: “I want to try to do this right. I know I can. Can you show me what I’m doing wrong instead of just taking over?”

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Jeremiah (as they removed the tape around their chalkboard wall): “Oooooh wow, ours looks so clean. Can we do more around the building next week?”

Vanesa: “What kind leadership is this?” Damian responds: “It is leadership. We are helping our community.”

Devina: “This is cool. I feel like I met new people and made friends I wouldn’t have made in regular class. It was fun to work together with new people.”


Egypt: “This school is really different... it feels different. I was worried it would go back to being the same after the first week, but it didn’t. For the first time, I feel like I want to be here and like people want me here too.”

Getting to spend the afternoons working with their friends, laughing and listening to music while they used their hands and muscle to transform our space has led many to feel a deeper sense of ownership.

Please shout them out for their hard work! Thank you again for trusting the process...even when there are open paint cans, and 69 freshmen freely roaming from project to project.

With love,

Ms. Jones

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