Leaders from Lowe's joined educators at Southeast High School at the beginning of open house on Thursday to celebrate the opening of the Raider Nation Literacy Center at the school.
Language arts teacher Anne Childers has been working since the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation announced the $100,000 grant award to the school last fall. She has helped to design the center and determine how it can be used to serve students during the day and members of the community after hours.
The literacy lab is divided into two rooms decorated to encourage a casual environment. A painting in one of rooms encourages guests to "Act like what you do makes a difference. It does." That room has 26 computers ready for use and the other has six computers as well as seating and tables for people to congregate. Childers and her colleagues look forward to welcoming guests and gauging the best way to serve their needs before expanding services.
She shared some words by Ralph Waldo Emerson to illustrate how they do not want to invest in tools that may not be what the community needs and to further describe the lab's purpose.
"Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee, and do not try to make the universe a blind alley." --Ralph Waldo Emerson
Principal Karey Williams welcomed Sean Cannon, market director for Lowe's stores in northwest Georgia and east Tennessee, for a brief presentation. Joining Cannon to officially present the $100,000 check were Steve Hicks, store manager for the Lowe's on Cleveland Highway, and Lowe's human resources manager Cynthia Overby.
During their visit, they spoke briefly about their vision for the lab. Ms. Williams expects to offer access to the computers and common applications including Microsoft Office to students and community members who do not have computers or Internet access at home. The principal hopes it will help people to acquire computer literacy in addition to improving their literacy in other areas.
"We are excited to be able to offer this service to families in the community," Ms. Williams said.
From left are Sean Cannon, Lowe's market director in northwest Georgia and east Tennessee, Cleveland Highway Lowe's manager Steve Hicks, Principal Karey Williams, and language arts teacher Anne Childers.