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Team WIN volunteers redesign classrooms

For the past three years Cumberland Elementary School’s Team WIN (What’s Important Now) has transformed classroom pods into works of art.

According to community volunteer and team member Lisa Winslow, the pod makeovers have been an exciting venture for the students at the school. “Most of the time they can relate some sort of picture to something that they’re learning at that point in time.”

“We talked to the teachers in each grade level and we determined what they want,” said community volunteer and team member Heather King. “Then we figure out how we’re going to put that on the wall. We don’t freehand it as many people think, we project it on to the wall and trace it,” she said, which results in each pod having a unique theme.

The pod makeovers conducted by Team WIN serve as an open invitation to all students and community members.

“It is wonderful to see parents, community members and students fundraise and dedicate time to make the elementary school a better

place,” said Division Superintendent Amy Griffin. “Each pod is unique to the grade level and you can’t help but smile and feel the energy when you walk into each pod.”

In addition to decorating the walls with colorful art, Team WIN has supplied new furniture, rugs and beanbags to adorn the pods. “We appreciate team WIN’s Pod Makeover initiative. Over the past several years, they have worked to ensure each grade level pod is a beautiful, creative and comfortable place for students to learn,” Griffin said.

Team members said that Sherwin-Williams of Farmville donated the base paint for the pod makeovers and that money has been raised through ventures such as yard sales, book fairs and spirit sales for paint and extra furnishings. 

“It’s a lot of fun,” said community volunteer and team member Pat Parker. “It gives me a lot of enjoyment, but it also gives me a little bit of personality with the teachers that I get to know. I feel a lot more comfortable going to them and asking how I can help my granddaughters,” she said.

Addy Carney, a third-grader at Cumberland Elementary, said her favorite work of art was the third grade pod. “I like how bright and colorful it is and all the work, effort and Duke pride they put into it,” Carney said of the volunteer’s work.