Arlington School, Nonprofit Team Up to Renovate Classrooms

Nonprofit Paint it Forward vows to help transforming technology education classrooms into optimal learning environments for Arlington's middle school students.

Have you ever seen the movie “Pay It Forward?” If you haven't, you should check it out. And if you have seen the movie, I think you know where this is going.

Ottoson Middle School in Arlington is teaming up with nonprofit Paint it Forward to make the Technology Education classrooms optimal learning environments for Arlington's students. Paint it Forward takes classrooms and transforms them from white-walled cluttered spaces to warm, inviting, organized environments where kids love to go and learn.

I thought we did a pretty decent job with what . But after meeting with Paint it Forward founder PJ Davey, I was blown away with this nonprofit’s focus on networking and getting so many people to dedicate their time and supplies. 

We plan on getting a new floor that extends between both technology rooms at Ottoson. This will allow for easy cleaning and an ideal learning environment. Next, the hanging ceiling will be removed. This will expose all of the ductwork and conduit, which will make for great character.

It will also let heat rise, hopefully creating a cooler workspace for the hot, humid months. Ottoson’s technology rooms do not have windows, so it gets very stuffy and uncomfortable quite often.

To remedy this, we are bringing the ceiling up at least another 4 feet and possibly installing air conditioning. We are going paint the existing counter top with durable epoxy paint and put a fresh coat of paint on the newly exposed ceiling. We are also going to come up with a new design for our supply table, which is the space where all the materials for various projects are kept.

Organization will be a great way to improve the space. Paint it Forward exemplifies a real community-based way to improve education. The people who come together donate their time and supplies. In a recession, what more can you ask for than for people doing things for others out of the goodness of their hearts?

In an email, Davey pointed out Ottoson’s teachers have “done an incredible job” with the space allocated for shop class, despite the room being filled to capacity. “But iti’s time for an overhaul,” he added.

Davey said the goal is for the project to be done by the beginning of 2012.

The project will need volunteers, resources and ideas.


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