A local church group helped Second Chance Academy settle into its new location last weekend.
The group of six volunteers from Christ Community Church in Ardmore helped repaint Second Chance’s new location, a portable classroom located near the school’s administration building.
Second Chance Instructor Leslie Ragland said while it seems like a small gesture, it makes a difference for students.
She said between the white walls and overhead lighting, the space felt unwelcoming and sterile.
“It was just very stark, and the kids get all of their instructions from software,” Ragland said. “It was so overwhelming. We picked a darker blue color that was softer and a little more conducive to learning.”
Second Chance is for students serving longterm suspensions. The program prevents them from falling behind on coursework.
“I reached out to them because there were needs,” Ragland said. “These students need more support than anybody, to me, not just academically. I was looking for people I knew had a heart for that kind of thing.”
The group also supplied the program with school supplies, wall decorations and snacks. Ragland said students in the program have a later lunch, which makes the snacks more of a practical concern than a perk. When the program is at peak capacity, some students come to evening classes instead.
“I used to teach at Jefferson and they’d helped us there, so I knew they’d be the perfect people to talk to,” Ragland said.
Tania Delgado, herself a former teacher, helped with the project as well. She said the school district ordered the paint, and the group knocked the project out over a Saturday morning.
“For our group, it was probably the first time we’d done something like this,” Delgado said. “Having been a teacher, you want to create an environment that shows that kids are valued and welcome.”  
Delgado said her group plans to assist with similar projects in the future.