The Lounge at Fairview Elementary now has a reading nook complete with reading materials, 50-inch television and charging station.
Photos by Erin Herbig
Over spring break, volunteers from Home Depot’s Fairfax Store (#4601), Kohl’s in Burke, and a handful of volunteers from Fairview Elementary School came together and made big changes to the Teacher’s Lounge at the school. Before the dramatic makeover, there was nothing inviting or special about the nearly 400-square-foot room. That all changed on Monday, March 28 when the teachers first saw their new lounge. The reveal was a complete surprise.
“Although extremely rewarding, the work that teachers do every day is very demanding and the limited time they have to relax and eat their lunch is highly valued,” said Lynn Mayer, Principal of Fairview. “It is hard to imagine how much it will mean to our staff to have this beautifully designed space within our school to relax, dine and converse with colleagues. The positive difference extends beyond our teachers and impacts our students.“
In November of last year, Anna Sherman and Heather Morrison, co-chairs of the Teacher Appreciation Committee, approached another parent, Erin Herbig, to help with fundraising for the project. At that time, the plan was to simply repaint the lounge and put in a reading nook. That all changed in February, when Home Depot awarded Fairview with a grant to improve the space. Simultaneously, Leonie, a business in Arlington contacted Herbig to donate furniture for the project. At that point, the three parent-volunteers started on a wishlist of items to make the room spectacular.
Clandestinely working with administrative assistant, Lisa Knox, the trio got to work selecting a new look and feel, finding new furniture and décor, and determining priorities. The outdated room got new cabinets, including a new countertop, sink, backsplash, appliances and a new coat of paint. Donated items completed the nook, and new lunch tables, chairs and carpet were purchased. Fairview parent and photographer, Heather Rafii of Heather Leigh Photography, donated the artwork that rounded out the beautiful new lounge. Leonie also donated countless bookcases, chairs and tables for use in classrooms and around the school.
Mayer added about the huge undertaking, “We are truly grateful to the parents who worked tirelessly to make all this happen, to Home Depot for providing much of the materials and to the employees from Home Depot and Kohl’s who volunteered their time to this project.”