Operation Installation

I arrived to school much earlier than I needed to because I had a feeling at least one of the grant chalkboards were going up today…and I guessed right! I walked straight to my 6th grade class and sure enough the one of the male teachers had already gotten to work. I “assisted” by taking pictures. All the kids were jumping around like crazy…nothing like this has ever happened at their school! The loud thunder and hail storm outside added to the dramatic anticipation in the room….

As the  brand new chalkboard got hung at just the right angle, the kids rushed to it and tore off the protective plastic covering. Then they all shouted something in my direction and soon enough someone was able to figure out what to say in English so I’d understand: “No looking” they shouted. So I turned my eyes away…waiting to see what they were going to do.

When I was allowed to turn back around I saw the most touching thing I think a teacher could see….We love you, was written on the board. They were all beaming at me, some of the girls eyes were filled with tears. We all hugged and danced and took more pictures. It was such a special moment I wish everyone who had donated and provided the grant could have been there. The bell rang to start the school day and all the kids jumped into their seats ready to see what class would be like with the new board.

As a side note: It took another 3 days to hang all the other boards. Some of the older chalkboards fell right off the wall while other had to be drilled out…and then since all the walls are concrete, hanging and installing each board was a special project unto itself. So I’d like to congratulate the men who figured it all out and got those boards up! This wasn’t an easy project but definitely one that will make a tangible and lasting change for the better!

Installation Step 1: Make sure the power drill works…

Installation Step 2: Gotta make sure it’s just right.

Installation Step 3: Unwrap the new present!

And then everyone joined in!!!

They even spelled my name right. (It’s usually: Mell, Melli, or Melon.)


It was so hard to calm down for a moment to get a group photo with the new chalkboard!

The most excited group of kids in Georgia today!


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