Room makeover helps teacher in­spire stu­dents

Grant makes Span­ish River High class­room invit­ing.

The Palm Beach Post - Neighborhood Post - Southern Palm Beach County - - Front Page - By Faran Fa­gen Spe­cial to The Palm Beach Post

Be­lieve in Your Selfie. Cell Phone Day Care. Read­ing Cor­ner. Suc­cess in Read­ing.

These are the col­or­ful mes­sages that adorned Kelly Kayle-Gal­lon’s new class­room at Span­ish River High School in Boca Ra­ton, as she opened the 2017-18 school year.

Things have come a long way for the Sharks read­ing teacher.

At the end of the school year, Kayle-Gal­lon moved into a class­room that had un­der­gone con­struc­tion. Dry­wall and dust dot­ted the spots where bill­boards and posters should wel­come stu­dents.

“PEN helped me clean up the room, cre­at­ing a new look and com­fort­able read­ing ar­eas,” Kayle-Hal­lon said. “PEN has en­er­gized me, and the class­room makeover will in­spire my stu­dents to learn.”

Pro­fes­sional Ed­u­ca­tors Net­work of Florida (PEN), a pro f e s s i onal or g a ni z a - tion pro­vid­ing de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and le­gal sup­port to teach­ers through­out t he s t a t e o f Fl o r i da, awarded a free class­room makeover to a Palm Beach County teacher. Kayle-Gal­lon was the re­cip­i­ent of the makeover, worth more than $1,000.

“I was de­lighted when PEN told me I had won the class­room makeover. I teach stu­dents who strug­gle with read­ing com­pre­hen­sion, so I want to of­fer them the most en­gag­ing and fun learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment pos­si­ble,” said Kayle-Gal­lon, also Depart­ment/In­struc­tional leader at Span­ish River, where she’s taught the last 19 years.

PEN asked mem­bers to ex­plain in a few sen­tences why they de­served a makeover of their class­room at the end of June. In July, PEN board mem­bers se­lected a win­ner based on the teacher’s needs, ex­pe­ri­ence and com­mit­ment to ed­u­ca­tion. PEN no­ti­fied Kayle-Gal­lon she won the makeover in mid-July and ren­o­va­tions were com­pleted by the first week of Au­gust.

“Many peo­ple don’t re­al­ize it, but the av­er­age teacher spends $500 per year of his or her own money on class- room sup­plies,” Cathy DeMoisey, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of PEN, notes in a press re­lease. “In ad­di­tion to on­line classes, le­gal sup­port and net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, PEN has given away thou­sands of dol­lars in makeovers and gift cards to our mem­bers. Our goal is to make Florida a bet­ter place for teach­ers to teach and stu­dents to learn.”

The makeover of KayleGal l o n’s c l a s s ro o m g ave her stu­dents flex­i­ble seat­ing op­tions, the 2017 Florida Teen Reads set , new li­brary shelv­ing, light­ing, rugs and or­ga­ni­za­tion sys­tems through­out the class­room.

PEN spon­sored the class­room makeover, with Home De­pot do­nat­ing paint and wood for stor­age and seat­ing.

The school’s prin­ci­pal, Wil­liam Lat­son, do­nated a large wall sten­cil of the school’s mas­cot, the shark. Vol­un­teers helped paint and as­sem­ble items for the class­room.

“The feel­ing, ac­cord­ing to the stu­dents, is cozy,” KayleGal­lon said. “They have been able to eas­ily ac­cess ma­te­ri­als from the desk bins.

The or­ga­nized class­room li­brary of­fers stu­dents a va­ri­ety of books to read, and the com­fort­able seat­ing is an invit­ing place to read.

“The cell phone ‘day care’ showed them that I ap­pre­ci­ate their need for tech­nol­ogy, but I will not al­low them to be dis­tracted dur­ing in­struc­tional time,” Kayle-Gal­lon said. “The makeover unwritten by PEN Florida re­ally e ner g i z e d me. Al t hough each new year is ex­cit­ing, this project added the ex­tra push to or­ga­nize, up­date and make my new room a place the stu­dents want to call their own.”

Last sum­mer, PEN up­dated the books in a class­room li­brary in Her­nando County. PEN plans to of­fer the class­room makeover con­test in other Florida coun­ties in the fu­ture.

“At PEN, we want to sup­port our teach­ers in as many ways as pos­si­ble,” said DeMoisey. “We value each of our mem­bers and are proud to sup­port ed­u­ca­tors across the state of Florida. “Our goal is to give back to the teach­ers who give so much to their stu­dents. Our chil­dren are the fu­ture of the Sun­shine State.”

PEN has been sup­port­ing Florida teach­ers for more than 20 years. PEN of­fers pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment, le­gal sup­port and pro­tec­tion and net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties via on­line groups and in-per­son meet­ings. PEN mem­ber­ship costs $18 per month for teach­ers and $13 per month for sup­port per­son­nel, teacher aides and some other school staff mem­bers. Stu­dent and re­tired teach­ers can join PEN for $20 per year. To learn more, visit penfl.org.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHO­TOS

Span­ish River High School teacher Kelly Kayle-Gal­lon stands in her ren­o­vated class­room. The Pro­fes­sional Ed­u­ca­tors Net­work (PEN) of Florida awarded her the ren­o­va­tions, worth more than $1,000. “PEN has en­er­gized me, and the class­room makeover will in­spire my stu­dents to learn,” she said.

Kayle-Gal­lon moved into a class­room that had un­der­gone con­struc­tion. Dry­wall and dust dot­ted the spots where bill­boards and posters should wel­come stu­dents.

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