Orchard Knob Middle School Celebrates New Spaces

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Students at Orchard Knob Middle School kick off the new school year with some brand new spaces. 

This summer, community organizations and volunteers worked together to beautify Orchard Knob Middle School. 

Principal Tiffany Earvin said she cannot wait to see the looks on returning students’ faces. “To see the community come together in this way, to help our students, is just amazing. I have always known the incredible potential of our OKMS Yellow Jackets, and I feel with this boost to their learning spaces, the sky is the limit,” Ms. Earvin said. 

Orchard Knob Middle School expanded last year’s beautification day to a full week this year. As a result, nearly 400 volunteers and more than 40 different organizations including church groups, non-profits and neighborhood organizations gathered to help refresh the school with murals and paint, new furniture, landscaping and more. 

The Highland Park Neighborhood Association adopted the OKMS Library this year. HPNA president Emerson Burch said, “Neighbors saw a great opportunity to serve local kids and teachers by contributing to their school. Throughout Beautification Week, we met current and former OKMS students who shared how much it meant to them to see their library being cared for and transformed. One young woman walked in and immediately exclaimed, ‘If the library looked like this when I was here, I would have wanted to read all the time!’ That unprompted reaction made it clear that we had found a beautiful opportunity to serve.” 

Local artist Brent Sanders created the large yellow murals in the multipurpose room. He said, "It was great to step away from the easel for a change and work to design an environment using simply color and shape. My hope is that I've helped to create a space that will inspire and energize the students as well as giving them a pleasant atmosphere to thrive." 

Andy Michaud, the trustee of the UNfoundation added, “The time my daughter and I were able to spend volunteering at OKMS was invaluable.  The opportunity to experience first-hand the vast needs of the school, the enthusiastic spirit of the students and teachers, and the incredible diligence and creativity of the volunteers was a true eye opener and a blessing for both of us. We are grateful to have been a small part of such an enormous, well organized and executed project!  What's next?!" 

Local artist and 800 Collective founder, Josiah Golson, said, “It was a truly special opportunity to help beautify the school through art and in collaboration with both OKMS staff and the community at large. The experience for me was a reminder of how individuals can create incredible change for our youth when coming together.” 

Orchard Knob Middle School is ready to open the doors to the brand new school year first thing tomorrow morning.




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