GREENSBORO, N.C. — Parts of Foust Elementary School look as though they've been remodeled by a professional crew. The upgrades, however, were done by a group of moms whose kids don't even go to Foust.
"It’s not just about our own kids and their futures and their success but we want to focus our energy on kids in every neck of the woods in Guilford County," Katie Chesney said.
Chesney and Melissa Lewkowicz are part of Gathered for Guilford, a group that started working on Foust after seeing the need in Guilford County’s Facilities Master Plan. The plan says Foust Elementary School is the worst building in the district and “needs to be replaced.”
It would cost $27 million to rebuild the school that opened in 1965.The building needs close to $10 million in repairs - about 80% of the school’s total value.
"They’re one of the schools that need a lot of improvement to the facility but aren’t getting that right now aren’t getting that help right now and so the little projects that we do to make it better while it’s in this condition make a difference," Lewkowicz said.
It started with applying a fresh coat of paint in the cafeteria.
"The walls had gotten a little gross over the years so we just did a fresh coat where the kids sit," Chesney explained. "This fall we did some outdoor landscaping work in the front beds outside the school and then we did some teacher appreciation things. But our big thing in the last month has been to do a redo of this room of the teacher lounge."
That’s Kindergarten teacher, Nikki Armstrong’s, favorite upgrade.
"It has built up the moral," she said. "We actually come in here now. From the coffee station to the furnishings to the toiletries we are very thankful and they’ve shown their support and care toward us."
Little projects that teachers say make a big difference.
"I really feel the impact," Armstrong said.
An impact that goes beyond the 55 year old walls of Foust, or, as Lewkowicz said. "Our hope is that they will feel encouraged that they will know how much their work matters and how great of an impact they have on the community and on the future of our county."