Uplift Hampton Preparatory library receives a READesign Makeover

DSC_0474What used to be a nearly forgotten space at the heart of Uplift Hampton Preparatory in southwest Dallas, is now a bright, attractive, learning space thanks to the generous donation of time and effort of Capital One and the Heart of America Foundation.

Capital One selected Uplift Hampton as part of its Investing for Good initiative and partnered with the Heart of America Foundation to revitalize its library through its Library READesign Makeover Project.

Heart of America’s library READesign makeover takes school spaces, mainly libraries that have fallen into need, and converts them into prime learning spaces for students. These spaces often fall into need due to underfunding or lack of resources. The READesign makeover at Uplift Hampton had two main goals- to renovate the physical space of the library and to improve access to literacy.

Monica Shortino who is the Senior Manager of Texas Community Relations for Capital One shared why the Capital One volunteers were so passionate about the project.

“We feel that with our focus on college readiness and 21st century learning skills that providing college resources and technology is key. It’s a wonderful partnership to be able to bring those resources to schools that are doing great things and leverage the work that is being done on those campuses. It’s just a great opportunity for our associates to give back and make a difference in the community that we live, work and play in.” she said.DSC_0363DSC_0370

There were multiple aspects to Uplift Hampton’s library makeover. The physical transformation of the space meant that the library was given a fresh coat of bright paint, new stylish furniture was installed and the room was decorated with inspirational items like portraits and quotes from some of the world’s greatest leaders. Simultaneously, volunteers examined the existing stock of books and worked to reorganize and increase the number of quality material for all grade levels. In addition, each secondary scholar received three new books to take home. In total, Uplift Hampton received 60 new chrome books, two recharging carts, and 500 new books for the library collection along with the makeover.

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Capital One volunteers finished off the Library READesign day by testing the secondary scholars’ financial literacy with a game of financial jeopardy. Teams of volunteers went in to classrooms to share information with scholars and pass out their three books.

The aim of the makeover was to create a space that truly encourages learning and inspires scholars of all grades. The addition of tables, high quality books and chrome books will allow scholars to explore their interests and dig in deeper to what they are learning in class.

John Flynn, Vice President of READesign from The Heart of America Foundation found the transformation to be a great experience for everyone and shared his thoughts on what the space has become.

“Overall, I think this READesign experience here at Uplift Hampton really exemplifies the strength of community coming together. I think it gives a real life example to the students that this is important. It creates a safe haven for education, I think it creates a space where kids can feel like they have that focused space, that area that really supports their efforts and initiatives. This is a space where they can come and really get in to their own pathways. I think that what we like about working with Uplift is that we see now this space reflecting that energy, heart and spirit and focus that Uplift has for their scholars. It’s more in sync now.” he said.

Scholars and teachers have already begun to use the library, whether to supplement lessons or to simply browse the new collection of material. Uplift Hampton has seen a number of improvements to its physical space over the past year which have already had a great impact on the Uplift Hampton community. You can check out a gallery of the new library and the day’s events on Uplift Hampton’s Facebook page.

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