Lonsdale Elementary School - Teacher Appreciation

Herrick & White was asked to help out with this project by an employee whose family member works at this school.

Herrick & White was asked to help out with this project by an employee whose family member works at this school.

September 6, 2017

By BRITTANY BALLANTYNE, Valley Breeze Staff Writer

LINCOLN – While educators at Lonsdale Elementary were busy readying their classrooms for a new school year, volunteers with the Lonsdale Parent Teachers group were finishing up a task of their own – beautifying the teachers’ lounge.

Marissa Daly, Paula Mutso, Nicole Henault and Amy Archambault, all employees of Rhode Island school districts, and parents of children at Lonsdale Elementary, spearheaded the project that was finished just in time for the first day of school.

Last May, during “Teacher Appreciation Week,” the LPT group gave Lonsdale teachers a note that explained once the teachers returned from summer break, they would return to a “new space.”

On Wednesday, Aug. 30, the newly redesigned room was unveiled, complete with new cabinetry, flooring, painted walls, shelving materials and décor in blue and yellow, Lonsdale colors.

The group brainstormed back-up plans, in case they weren’t able to pull off the makeover, but knew they’d stop at nothing to bring the vision to life. With the help of local businesses and volunteers, the group was able to redesign the space in a matter of days in late August.

What was once a cramped, carpeted space with green walls, mismatched furniture and an old, non-functional stove has been converted into a brighter, cleaner, more open and welcoming space, the LPT volunteers said.

Local businesses donated to the cause, the LPT volunteers said, including Ted’s Paints in Lincoln, Herrick & White in Cumberland, Valley Flooring Inc. in Cumberland and Lowe’s Home Improvement in North Attleboro, Mass.

The space went from “drab and dreary,” as Archambault described it, to “bright and cheerful,” Daly said.

Herrick and White donated the cabinetry materials and installed the new kitchen counter setup, which allows for more space, and Lowe’s offered a discount on a new sink and installation for the teachers’ lounge.

Archambault said she hopes the space will feel like a “home away from home” for the Lonsdale staff members, and Daly said she wants teachers to use the room to take a break from their busy school day to sit down, relax and enjoy a cup of coffee.

Daly said she hopes the newly redesigned room “provides the teachers a little bit of well-being, and if the teachers are happy and healthy and relaxed, and can connect with each other in a nice space, then that trickles down to the students.”