A Worthington elementary school teacher who says her goal is to inspire her students and engage them in learning gained some aesthetic assistance after a recent national contest.
Meghan Davis, a 25-year-old first-grade teacher with Wilson Hill Elementary School, said she wanted to become a teacher because of her desire to serve as a mentor to students.
"The swirling winds of social media, navigating friendships and family and maneuvering through this thing we call 'life' has its ups and downs," she said. "I have the power to speak life, joy and encouragement into students."
Davis thinks her brand-new classroom might help fulfill those goals.
David won the $5,000 classroom makeover through a giveaway with Schoolgirl Style and Lakeshore Learning Materials. Schoolgirl Style is a brand of classroom decor founded by Melanie Ralbusky, a former school teacher and social-media influencer. Lakeshore Learning Materials, founded in 1954, produces learning materials, furniture and classroom decor for early childhood, elementary schools and homes.
According to Jacquelyn Brazzle, a representative with 3rd Coast PR, a company handling media requests for the contest, the two companies partnered to give away a classroom makeover to two winners this year for the first time.
She said Davis was chosen from 2,000 entries by teachers from across the country. The teachers applied by writing essays with their teaching backgrounds, teaching styles and how a new classroom would benefit them.
Brazzle said the contest includes a style makeover by Ralbusky, decor and accents from the latest Schoolgirl Style collections and supplies. Brazzle said the classroom also was outfitted with Lakeshore's Flexspace Wobble Chairs, which allows students to pivot and move while they work.
Brazzle said flexible seating areas include floor pillows for reading.
Davis said this allows students to "choose a space that works best for them. If they need some time to themselves or just need a break, they are able to do that," she said.
The classroom makeover was revealed to her Aug. 6.
Davis said she now has group tables at which students may work together on projects and interact with each other. She said first-grade students still are "learning how to be people" and practicing social skills.
"Providing a space where they work together is crucial to that," she said.
Davis said one of the most important features to her madeover classroom is a large area rug, which will allow the whole class to meet in one space. She said she hopes it will help her form a bond and a family dynamic with students.
"We can start to build that relationship and rapport with each other," she said.
Davis said the new color scheme should create a calming effect and help ease any student's anxiety.
Ralbusky said she understands the need to have a functional yet stylish classroom from her 19 years of teaching.
"I felt connected to Meghan's story and saw her desire to create a welcoming and fun learning space for her students," Ralbusky said. "This classroom makeover will positively impact Meghan and her students for years to come, and I couldn't be more thrilled."
Davis said winning the makeover was a shock.
"I had to check my calendar to make sure it wasn't April Fools' Day," she said.
She said she is thankful and hopes the makeover will inspire her students and give them a home away from home.
"In this new space, my dream is that my students will know that they are valued, loved, talented and capable of amazing things," Davis said. "They will get to experience a learning journey in a family-like environment in which they can grow and flourish. So for this opportunity, I am forever grateful."
The first day of school in Worthington was Aug. 14.
Davis said this will be her second year teaching first grade, and she has been a teacher at Wilson Hill for three school years. She said she taught fourth grade her first year at the school.
Before that, Davis said, she was an English as a Second Language paraprofessional in Westerville for three years.