June 13, 2017
By Tereze Ivanaj
All across the United States, schools suffer from a lack of funding. Economically depressed areas are hit especially hard, and are often forgotten. Pontiac Schools is one of the districts in the Detroit tri-county area that had to close down schools due to budgetary issues. The schools that are open are not in the best condition, which led to the decision for Meemic employees to renovate the library for one of the elementary schools.
Whitman Elementary School was one of the schools set to be closed by the district, but was able to remain open due to overall educational improvements. We decided to renovate this particular school’s library because it had merged with another school, and all of the moving left them with unpacked boxes and an overall disorganized library. Reading is an integral part of every child’s education, so having a well-organized library and reading space helps encourage kids to read. The theme chosen by the principal was “Catch the Literacy Bug,” so it played well into our goals.
I decided to join the committee because I have a soft spot for kids, and genuinely want to see everyone succeed, especially those who don’t have access to the best resources.
Trying to find where to start was the hardest part. While the main focus was the library, we kept going back to the sheer volume of books. How will we sort them? When should that be done? There were so many things we wanted to do, we decided to table the discussion and start discussing fundraising opportunities.
Along with bottle and can drives, the committee put together “Taco Tuesday” and asked employees to donate in exchange for tacos. The fundraiser was a success. We were able to order rugs, curtains and other miscellaneous items that matched the chosen theme. We also were able to order paint to really make the library feel like new.
Once June 10th
came, we were ready to refurbish the library. Many employees, including COO Brad Roeber, came out and helped us efficiently complete every item on our checklist. After five hours of working through the heat, we couldn’t get to absolutely everything, but the library looked beautiful.
Tereze Ivanaj is a marketing and eCommerce intern at Meemic.