Lakeshore Awards Philadelphia Teacher with Dream Classroom

by Victoria Montoya | Lakeshore Director of Public Relations

I recently had the pleasure of taking part in our Complete Classroom Giveaway Contest’s BIG REVEAL—the moment we presented one deserving teacher with a brand-new classroom! We received thousands of essays from amazing, hardworking teachers across the country, each with a unique story that they hoped would earn them a fully furnished $15,000 classroom.

Meet Ms. Lynch, Grand Prize Winner

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Ms. Lynch is a kindergarten teacher at S. Weir Mitchell Elementary, a 100-year-old school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her essay won our hearts and scored top marks in all criteria from our judges. This kind, talented and incredibly dedicated teacher builds strong connections both inside and outside the classroom. In her winning essay, Ms. Lynch wrote, “I am a huge believer that no teaching can get done without a strong, solid foundation. That foundation is built on trust. Children are more intuitive than adults when it comes to reading people. I need to build authentic relationships with my students before I can teach them.”

The Transformation Begins!

Within hours of sharing the exciting news with Ms. Lynch, our team of classroom design experts was ready to get to work. The new school year was right around the corner, and we wanted Ms. Lynch’s classroom to be ready to welcome a new kindergarten class of bright, young faces.

Ms. Lynch told us she wanted to create a warm, inviting learning space filled with colorful furniture, ample seating and lots of hands-on materials to support her students. She dreamed of having plenty of STEM and sensory materials, a bustling dramatic play center and a comfy, inviting reading area. Our team met with Ms. Lynch and created a custom 3-D layout of her new classroom, complete with a list of products specifically selected for her students.

Bringing the Classroom to Life

And now, without further ado, we’re incredibly excited to share the experience of bringing Ms. Lynch’s dream classroom to life!

Here’s where it all started…

On delivery day, the Lakeshore team took care of everything! They unloaded the boxes, assembled the furniture and set up the materials.

We knew we wanted to add color to brighten the space, so we brought in the A Place for Everyone Classroom Carpet, Rectangular Kids Colors™ Adjustable Tables, Kids Colors™ Stacking Chairs and even some Wobble Chairs to add a flexible seating option. Then we topped each table with coordinating classroom caddies filled with supplies to give students everything they need to create, draw and write. To encourage hands-on learning, we arranged tons of engaging math and language materials in a Classic Birch 20-Cubby Storage Unit.

Creating a Cozy Reading Space

For the perfect chill-out space, we created a relaxing library and listening center consisting of a Classic Birch Help-Yourself Bookstand, cozy pillows and seats, and our Comfy Couch Listening Center. We also filled a Help-Yourself Book Bin Storage Center with a variety of leveled fiction and nonfiction books, including our It’s a Multicultural World! and STEM Stories Hardcover Libraries.

Dramatic Play

Ms. Lynch believes in the importance of play and creative expression.

“I believe that early childhood educators owe it to students to be able to play and explore,” she told us. She especially loves having her students act out their favorite stories.

We created a vibrant dramatic play center to capture the imagination, inspire creativity, and boost language and social-emotional skills. Ms. Lynch’s center includes a Pretend & Play Market, a Butcher-Block Table and Chair Set, a Help-Yourself Dress-Up Center and our Lakeshore Career Costume Set.

To see even more of Ms. Lynch’s classroom transformation, check out this video of all the special moments along the way—including the final reveal of the Complete Classroom!

Seeing the excitement on Ms. Lynch’s and her students’ faces was the only thank-you we could ask for. It was truly a pleasure working with Ms. Lynch and the helpful administration at S. Weir Mitchell Elementary.

On behalf of the entire Lakeshore team, we want to thank Ms. Lynch for all she does to make an impact on the lives of her students. Here’s to the start of an amazing school year. We hope this new space will be enjoyed for many years to come!

Lakeshore is the exclusive provider of the Complete Classrooms® service, which includes complimentary classroom design, delivery and installation for new and expanding school programs throughout the country. To learn more, visit www.LakeshoreLearning.com/CompleteClassrooms.