A few weeks before the end of the 2021-2022 school year, students at Louisiana High school formed a committee to revitalize the courtyard. The committee was made up of seven 11th grade students from Teresa Long’s American Literature class. She said that the students were excited to be involved with such a hands-on project.
“They were excited about it,” said Long. “I have always wanted to teach a project-driven class, so I talked to the kids before winter break about doing some project-based learning. We decided to start with a small project in the courtyard between the middle school and the high school. The kids thought it would be a good idea due to the fact that it was a space that could be utilized. The plan is to use it for an outdoor classroom. It could also be used by juniors and seniors during lunch hour to go out and enjoy some fresh air,” she added.
The student committee designed a blueprint for the space that included six new benches, including a stone bench that is being donated by Stark Bros., planter boxes that are being built in the Ag shop, hanging plant baskets, and picnic tables. The plan also includes a student mural, which will be painted on the brick wall inside the courtyard at a later date, and there is a possibility of adding a coy pond. Committee member Mason Howland was ecstatic about the project.
“I love the idea of it,” said Howland. “The fact that the students are really getting involved to make the courtyard their place and more presentable for people to look at. Until now, it has been a visually unappealing and unused space. It took us a good month to lay out all the plans. We did a lot of research ahead of finalizing plans and we also did some fundraising events to help pay for the expenses of the project. Those included a cornhole tournament and an event at Twin City Bowl,” he added.
Long said that she was glad to be a part of the project and that after 28 years as a teacher, she is looking forward to her new role as the new elementary school principal for the 2022-2023 school year.