TYTL to renovate special education courtyard


Senior Jacob Hill holds up a sign at Chicken Express to help TYTL with their fundraiser

Story by Amanda Hackleman, Staff Writer

Plain. Boring. Bland. These are all words that came to mind for the members of Today’s Youth Tomorrow’s Leaders when referring to the courtyard by the special education department. They plan on changing that.T.Y.T.L is a program for high school students sponsored by Leadership Texarkana. The program prepares teenagers for future positions of leadership in their community. In order to graduate from the program, the students must do a project for their school.

Junior Marissa Johnston proposed to remodel the courtyard. All in the group agreed.

“I had to go into the special education room a lot my freshman year,” Johnston said. “I would see the courtyard and felt like it was unused and depressing. There may have been like a bird feeder out there and that’s all it had.”

The group hopes to take the lifeless scene and create something to be desired.

“It’s bad. It’s just dirt,” senior Makenzie Sangalli said. “It’s just dirty and ugly. We’re going to beautify it and make it wheelchair accessible.”

The leadership students will also include the students from the special education program in helping them. They hope to rid the courtyard of ants and add a ground covering, such as gravel or mulch, and flowers for decoration. Finally, a concrete path will be constructed and stones will be embedded into the cement. The stones will be decorated by the special education students with their hand prints or names.

“I felt like every kid should have a certain part in the progress,” Johnston said. “I really didn’t want one kid to be left out. I wanted them all to be a part of it in some way.”

After completion of the renovations, they hope to work with the special education students to tend the flowers and plants in the courtyard.

“I felt like the special education students should have a chance to be outside more often and learn about nature,” Johnston said.

Funding for the project is coming from donations and fundraisers. They held a fundraiser Sept. 17, at Chicken Express. This was to raise money for supplies to help with the renovation.

The groups plans to have the renovations completed by April.

“I’m really excited,” junior Lindsey Gore said. “I can’t wait to see what it turns out like.”