Although the East Street School computer lab received new computers this past year, allowing students better access to technology, the walls of the lab remained in somewhat of a time warp; not having been painted in several years and housing posters explaining how to use floppy discs! After taking her class to the computer lab for a technology lesson, kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Kristen Ortyl, made the decision to make it her mission to give the lab a makeover. And as everyone knows, kindergarten teachers are not only very creative, but also extremely determined and so, with the approval of East Street School Principal, Mr. Thomas Welch, Ortyl set out on her mission.
“I found so many resources and ideas online,” shared Ortyl. “The minute I saw the giant keyboard I knew it would be perfect. It’s not only colorful and cheery, but we also use it as a learning tool. The numbers are green, vowels are red and consonants are yellow, which makes it easier for the students to locate the keys.”
Once the final plan was mapped out Ortyl enlisted the help of the classroom paraprofessional, Mrs. Trudy Line, and fellow kindergarten teachers, Mrs. Nicole Carbonneau, Mrs. Kellie Smith, Ms. Heidi Arsenault and Mrs. Erin Keane and together, after school, they painted and designed the walls with precision and love.
Their hard work has not gone unnoticed by the students. “I like the big keyboard on the wall because my name is on it,” commented kindergartener, Arabella Gucciardi, as she spelled out her first name by proudly pointing to the corresponding keys on the wall display.
Fellow classmate, Cora Hall added, “I like the big mouse on the wall because it helps me know how to use the computer, and what to click.”
Staff are also equally amazed, and grateful, at the transformation. “It is a marked improvement; not only colorful and inviting, but also informative for our students,” said School Nurse Rosanne Krawiec, who has an office across the hall from the lab. “It’s been my observation that since the remodel, students are more attentive and respectful when using the computer lab.”
First grade teacher, Mrs. Donna Queiros remarked, “It’s amazing. They knocked it out of the park- simply beautiful.”
“I love the initiative that our teachers exhibit at East Street School,” shared Welch. “They see a need and they take action. In this case, Mrs. Ortyl knew the computer lab was in desperate need of a makeover, so she, along with Mrs. Line and other staff, designed and completed the project on their own time.”
With a smile, Ortyl reflected on the transformation and echoed the sentiments of many, “It just needed a bit of a facelift to make it feel more welcoming and kid friendly. After a little TLC, happy now rules, in the lab!”
Mrs. Line, Mrs. Ortyl and students giving the makeover their thumbs up!