NRBLB & Starbucks

Last year, we applied for the LA2050 Grant to help change the future of Los Angeles.  Many of our friends also applied and we were so happy to see No Right Brain Left Behind (NRBLB) was one of the winners of the $100K grant.  We have always been excited about the work NRBLB is doing to challenge creative professionals to help solve some of the most pressing issues in the world of education.

We are also always on the lookout for unique projects for our doGOODers, so when NRBLB asked if we wanted to help transform an un-used library at Locke High School into a innovative gathering space for students — we couldn’t wait to put on some gloves and get to work. We spent two Saturdays in February working at Locke High School in Watts, CA — sorting books, dismantling shelves and ripping up carpet in the school library that hasn’t been used in five years.  This is common in schools across the country; due to budget cuts, programs and staff are being cut and librarians have been some of the first to go.  NRBLB saw this un-used space as an opportunity to reinvent it and worked with teachers and students to come up with a vision and create a 21st century learning space.

All of our doGOODers worked extremely hard and Green Dot Public Schools, No Right Brain Left Behind and most importantly, Locke High School students will be forever grateful. On the first Saturday, doGOODers from Starbucks helped move over 20,000 books, break down shelves and was one of the hardest working groups we’ve ever had on the Do Good Bus. 1017431_794884230540518_1383863550_n 1798529_794885263873748_1289210047_n 1618501_794883947207213_232547309_n 1620626_794883950540546_797707768_n
The following Saturday, we loaded up with 23 hardworking Los Angelenos who had no idea what was in store for them.  They continued  breaking down shelves, clearing walls and ripping up carpet — a task no one realized would be so hard! 564135_797879883574286_1372454859_n 1618701_797879860240955_1242463330_n 1897997_797881303574144_131366738_n
The new space will not only be a gathering place for all the students on campus but will be a space for presentations, invention, research and new ideas. The teams at Green Dot Public Schools and No Right Brain Left Behind and all the volunteers and supporters on this project are working hard to have a soft opening on April 9, 2014.  We can’t wait to celebrate with them! no_right_brain_left_behind_hub_4 locke hub P1A

UPDATE 8/4/14:

Check out new photos from the final product.  We are so proud of what they’ve accomplished! NRBLB-progress-shot

UPDATE 10/27/14:

We visted Locke High School for a third time for our October COMMUNITY Ride to help sort books and organize some of the stacks we initially moved out of the old library. The following is a write up on the day… Written by Do Good Bus staff, Bianca Dickerson The day began with seventeen smiling faces lined up at 9:30am on a Sunday. A few were experienced riders and others signed up after hearing about The Do Good Bus on Buzzfeed and The LAist. We began the ride by breaking the ice with the questions: What’s your favorite Halloween memory? Would you rather be a zombie, werewolf, vampire or witch? We had a lot of witches and vampires on the bus! IMG_5256
The group loved the questions and we got a few rounds of Heads Up in before arriving at our Locke High School in Watts. Kathleen Hines, the 10th grade English teacher and our volunteer coordinator from No Right Brain Left Behind (NRBLB) , lead us to her classroom to explain the cause and our task for the day. Locke HS is home to over 2000 students and is one of the few LA schools with facilities to accommodate students with learning disabilities. A large portion of the students are learning English for the first time. Locke does not turn anyone away! IMG_5266
A few years ago the library in the school caught on fire and many of the books were damaged. The library has been left unused since the fire. The school received book donations from several local libraries but unfortunately the were left stacked in the damaged library. Katherine decided that it was her mission to save the library! IMG_5274
Our task for the day was begin sorting the books. Many were outdated, not relevant for HS student, or damaged. When we arrived in the library there were thousands and thousands of books stacked again the walls in a dark room. The Do Gooders enthusiastically created a system for sorting and an assembly line. If the school could not use the books they were boxed to be donated to Goodwill. There was a team responsible for folding boxes and two volunteered to be book experts. The book experts helped determine whether a book could be used for AP classes. We finished almost half the room before lunch and a large portion afterwards. When were were out of time, it was tough to tear the group from the task! We all wanted to finish the whole room. Katherine gave us handwritten thank you cards from the students. She was the kind of teacher that is truly committed to the success of her students and her energy set the tone for a great day volunteering.
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Everyone was all smiles on the bus ride back. They all definitely enjoyed the experience and were so touched by Katherine. I know they were encouraged to continue to support the school and No Right Brain Left Behind! IMG_5313