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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Clean It: Grab a Paintbrush and Gain Pride in Your School

Scrubbing and painting raises spirits.
Sara Bernard
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Credit: Getty Images

School isn't just a meeting of minds -- it's a meeting place for minds. And no one feels much like learning in a building that's covered in graffiti or peeling paint. A school with a run-down physical environment can take a toll both on student performance and teacher retention, according to the Council of Educational Facility Planners International.

So why not join forces with your school community and, as 1,500 staff, students, and parents in Kern County, California, did this March, hold a "Great American School Cleanup"? A little scrub here or dab of color there (done schoolwide once each fall and spring) goes a long way, both in maintaining safety and getting students to take personal pride in the place where they spend so much of their day.

Sara Bernard is a former staff writer and multimedia producer for Edutopia.

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