Watch: Teachers Act Just Like Little Kids When a Huge Treehouse Appears in the Middle of Their School
This article is one in a series at The 74 that profiles the heroes, victories, success stories, and random acts of kindness to be found at schools all across America. Read more of our recent inspiring profiles at The74million.org/series/inspiring.
Storybooks hold a special place in our nation’s elementary schools. So why not build a storybook setting as the focal point of an entire school?
That’s what Superintendent Micheal French, of the Terrell Independent School District in Terrell, Texas, decided to do when a renovation left a huge open space in the middle of Kennedy Elementary School. His vision: a 20-foot-tall, multi-level treehouse — complete with a slide.
“Since I came to Terrell ISD, I knew that space in the middle of Kennedy, which was once the library, could be transformed into something spectacular,” French told The Terrell Tribune. “In the design, I wanted Disney to meet Tolkien, a magical space that looks like something out of a storybook.”
The kids love it. And so do the teachers.
“Even the teachers and high school students who visited the treehouse were most excited about going down the slide,” Rachel Frost, the district’s director of communications, tells The 74. “It’s not every day that you see a slide, which looks like a natural part of a giant treehouse, in the middle of a school. It’s a very special place.”
So is the school’s brand-new library, which Frost says was moved to a new addition in the front of the building, in a much larger space better suited to serving literacy needs — everything from collaborative learning to independent learning, with the best reading nook around and space for indoor play.