Considering students spend about half their waking hours at school, Rivermont Elementary Principal Nikki Bailey thinks school should be a welcoming, fun environment.
"We want Rivermont to be a place for both kids and teachers that, when given the choice, they'd like to be here," Bailey said.
That's why she and the rest of her school have started the Rivermont Blitz, a promotional program asking members of the community to pitch in time, skills and money to help make the school the best it can be.
A number of previously unused classrooms have equipment, carpeting and furniture that is dated by decades, Bailey said. A recent surge in enrollment at the school following an open enrollment policy enacted in April means those classrooms will once again have to be used, and so Bailey and her fellow educators are hoping for new carpeting, new paint and new supplies, among other things.
Previously, only children who were zoned for Rivermont Elementary could attend. The new policy opens enrollment to every child in Hamilton County.
"We want the building to match the great things going on inside it," Bailey said. "The kids deserve a comfy place to come to that they enjoy."
In addition to those dated classrooms, each teacher at Rivermont has a wish list of things they'd like to add to their classrooms to make their lives and the lives of their students easier. Additions such as new dry erase boards to replace warped ones and more choices in seating for the students are on many teachers' lists.
The blitz is set to take place July 24-29 so the classrooms are ready for the school's registration day Aug. 7. Bailey is asking members of the community and civic organizations to sponsor a room to help make the necessary improvements.
She estimated each in-need classroom would take around $500 to fully prepare for the new school year, but the biggest need, she said, is time and labor.
A majority of the dated classrooms have already been adopted by church organizations and members of the community, but those 10 classrooms still have to be painted, and minor necessities such as rugs, paint rollers and general carpentry are still needed.
Once all 10 of the classrooms most in need have been sponsored, the school will accept community donations and sponsorships to help the remaining teachers accomplish their wish lists.
Bailey said the issues with the school stem from the deferred maintenance issues plaguing many Hamilton County schools. Rather than wait for funds to potentially become available, she decided to ask the community for support.
Community members who donate time, materials or money will later be included on a donor wall displaying the names of everyone who helped the school, Bailey said.
Anyone interested in signing up or helping the school can find more information at tinyurl.com/rivermontblitz. Bailey stressed that both classroom adoptions and general volunteers are needed.