America’s schools face many challenges, including finding unique ways to engage and motivate kids in the classroom. At Mannington, we recognize that today’s students will become tomorrow’s business leaders. That’s why we’re looking to the future by supporting a number of education programs in communities where we have operations. Atlanta’s innovative Ron Clark Academy is an exciting example.
Recently, Mannington and Campbell family representatives visited this unique non-profit middle school for students (in grades 5-8) from a wide range of economic backgrounds. Located in downtown Atlanta in a 100 year-old renovated factory, the school was founded by teachers Ron Clark and Kim Bearden, who met in 2000 when Disney honored them both with “American Teacher of the Year” awards. The school has received national and international recognition for its success in promoting academic rigor, creativity and increased student engagement in the classroom through unconventional teaching methods. Each year, thousands of educators also participate in educator training programs to learn how to replicate the school’s style, philosophy and success in their own schools.
During our visit, we met students and sat in on classes to see first-hand how the Academy’s creative teaching approach engaged kids and made school ultra-cool. Soon, we were captivated, too, as you can see by the look on Mannington’s Russell Grizzle’s face (in the third photo above).
We saw how Mannington Commercial’s luxury vinyl tile sets a creative tone throughout the school. For example, colorful LVT planks create a stylish and modern stage for the Academy’s dramatic dinosaur sculpture
transform the Harry Potter-esque dining room into a fascinating place for hungry students to chow down.
In this classroom, the bold geometric pattern of the Mannington Commercial LVT floor makes it hip to be square whether the subject being covered is math or history.
Russell Grizzle (Mannington President and CEO) and Zack Zehner (Mannington Sr. Vice President of Distribution Network) presented Academy co-founders Ron Clark and Kim Bearden with a $25,000 donation to help with ongoing capital funding needs, including the construction of a new building on its current campus. In addition to donating flooring in the Academy’s current facility, Mannington Commercial (based in Atlanta, GA) has also arranged to donate much of it for the Academy’s new building, too.
“Innovation is an essential in both business and education,” says Russell Grizzle. “Mannington is excited to support the Ron Clark Academy’s unique, uplifting approach to teaching and support its students as they work toward academic success.”
By the time our visit drew to a close, it was easy what makes this such a special place. This school inspires and impresses all who walk through its doors whether they are teachers, students or visitors like Carolyn Campbell Brown (a member of Mannington’s Campbell-family owners, shown here with a student). That’s why Mannington is delighted to go back to school with the Ron Clark Academy.