[Transcribed from Video]
Hello, my name is Elizabeth Binion, I’m the assistant principal here at Dan F. Long Middle School. Dan F. Long Middle School is a a mid-sized 3 year institution (6th, 7th and 8th grade.) We house 85 staff members and a little over 850 students. We are a Title 1 public education, which in layman’s terms means we have more than 80% free or reduced lunch. The federal government decides that roster or that ranking financially and then our students and their families fill out information that qualifies or disqualifies them for that service, which means that they can have lunch at a discount and/or free of charge.
When you start to work with students and they need tutorial sessions, or they need additional food, or they need a backpack full of food to make it through the weekend, those budget decisions are quite easy to make.
Balancing the needs of the student and creating an environment of excellence is a very fine line. We want to create a place where the students know “Wow, this is nice,” being fiscally responsible with the budget that the district has given us we were so excited to partner with DFW Painting to get that pretty environment for our staff and our community as well as meeting all the needs of our students and making sure that they were well taken care of while they are in our building.
I was so impressed with DFW Painting when they came in and we started having conversations about the donation. They wanted to see the building; they wanted to see what we look like, inside and out. They didn’t just come in to say, “This is what we can do for you”, they said, “Hey, we want to know about you. Who is in this building? What can we do? How can we improve it?”
The beginning of the school year, when many of this improvement happened, they were part of our ambassador club. They were sending parent in the right direction and they had the best attitude about it. We had even one painter that jumped in and would help us with translation. It made such a difference to have high quality people come in and partner with us, and care about our building. They are the kind of people you want in your homes, your schools, and your churches. Them coming to care about us, we had the chance to get to know them and care about them.
It just is all about improving the environment, doing what’s best for kids every single day, regardless whether you are picking up a paintbrush or picking up a book to help a kid with a math problem.
It all takes many hands making light of the work that we need to bring up great young men and women that will change the world.