August 19-21, the Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) and students of Ruben Daniels Middle School (RDMS) literally got their hands dirty. This three-day period marked the launch of Operation Restore, a project aimed at revitalizing the school building. Parents, administrators, community members and organizations such as Sisters of Vision and Michigan Blood showed up to lend a hand.
Operation Restore's goal is to change the perception of the school. RDMS Administrative Intern, Eric Gordon said, "There are negative things people think about our building and they never see the positive. We are going to bring people in to show them the positive things we are doing in Ruben Daniels Middle School."
Tody Hamilton, President of the PTSO thinks that small changes amount to greater ones. "We figured that we need to start off with having our curb appeal first, so we are out here cleaning the parking lots, trimming and painting in the inside of the building," said Hamilton.
Michael Rhoden, Truancy Officer for the district and Vera McCulloh-Pratt, PTSO Secretary, believe that the project will give students in the school a sense of pride and that pride will help the kids stay focused and learn. "We are beautifying so when students reach these front doors on September seventh they can see how beautiful it is," Rhoden continued, "not just in the building but inside of themselves. So when they walk into these classrooms they can be proud."
"When our kids come in on the first day they can have something to be proud of and they can be ready to learn this year and embrace the changes that have taken place," McCulloh-Pratt said.
Aside from the aesthetic changes, RDMS has new administration as well. PTSO members and staff are talking positively about the 2010-2011 school year.
Gordon says, "We have three new administrators here, I think it is going to be a wonderful year."
McCulloh-Pratt agrees. "We are going to have a very good year." With Labor Day right around the corner, and the first day of school along with it, Daniels Middle School’s very good year will start sooner than later.
© Bobjohnson, 2010