Tuckaseegee Elementary teachers were greeted with a big surprise when they returned Jan. 6 following the winter break.
Deloitte and the Young Black Leadership Alliance (YBLA) partnered to provide a surprise makeover of the teachers' lounge, along with work on the school's bulletin boards. At least 15 Deloitte employees and 29 YBLA high school students worked for six hours Jan. 4 to complete the work before school reopened.
"Our teacher's lounge was a mess," said Principal Dwight Thompson. "The room is small, there was nowhere for them to sit, and there were a lot of empty cabinets. We wanted a nice space for our teachers because our day is so busy, and we are asking people to do so much."
The makeover required the removal of some cabinets that opened space for a proper seating area with a couch, coffee table and chairs. White paint brightened the remaining cabinets and parts of the walls, while the furniture was color-coordinated with a bright rug, decorative pillows and artwork.
"It's important to have a place where teachers can relax and have time to decompress," said Todd Pipkin, YBLA executive director. "We have a great partnership here. Our young people are learning to be leaders, and this is a way to give back to the community."
Thompson gathered teachers before students arrived and unveiled the surprise, which came with doughnuts, courtesy of Deloitte.
"I barely went in there before – it was not welcoming," said Rachelle Blash, a first-year kindergarten teacher. "This makes us feel appreciated and gives us a sense of being cared for."