South Bend teacher's aide makes hand-painted crayon boxes for students’ desks

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SOUTH BEND, Ind.—A fourth-grade teacher's aide in South Bend got creative when it came to setting up her students’ socially-distanced desks.

Tiffany Murphy, who said she teaches in a fourth-grade at Wilson Elementary School in South Bend, said it took her about a week to hand paint the desks, which were made to look like boxes of crayons, complete with each student's name. 

“I wanted to give them something fun while they practice social distancing while learning,” Murphy said.

The desks are wrapped in plexiglass, which she said was provided by the school district.

Murphy is a staff member of the South Bend Empowerment Zone, which is comprised of Wilson, Warren, Harrison, and Coquillard Elementary schools, and Navarre Middle school.

All of these schools are South Bend Community Corporation schools on the West Side of South Bend serving students from Early Childhood Education to 8th grade. Their charge from the State Board of Education is to dramatically transform student achievement and growth at our schools over the course of the five-year intervention.

All Empowerment Zone schools, like Wilson, focus on collaborating to support one another, share resources, and capitalize on each school’s strengths through shared learning. South Bend Empowerment Zone schools are dedicated to inclusivity and believe all students should receive the opportunity to an equitable educational experience to better their futures and the future of our community, according to a spokesperson for the Empowerment Zone

To learn more about the South Bend Empowerment Zone, visit its website SBEZone.org

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