Forty years after Margaret Jacobs first walked into Carter G. Woodson as the school’s first principal, the retired educator re-entered those same double-doors to witness the unveiling of the newly renovated media
center. The November 2 ribbon cutting ceremony attracted parents, APS administrators and Woodson community members and business partners.
“This is beautiful—absolutely beautiful,” said Jacobs, who was clearly impressed as she inspected the library’s new books, shelves, painted walls and wall hangings.
The $100,000 renovation is part of the Target School Library Makeover program, in partnership with The Heart of America Foundation. As part of the program Target donated 2,000 new books, larger space with new carpet, furniture and technology, and seven new books for each student to take home.
Target volunteers also painted pictures on hallway walls, enhanced the school grounds and had fun with Woodson students as the children tested the new media center computers and iPads.
Jacobs said she was delighted to see so many individuals contributing to create a positive learning environment at the school she helped start, and she was encouraged to learn that Target had given Woodson—and by extension the Woodson community family—such a generous donation. She believes Target’s investment in the school has implications that extend beyond the school walls.
“This is the kind of thing this community needs, “ said Jacobs.
“It shows the students, the parents and the community that others care about what is happening here, and they really do want our students to succeed. It lets them know that they aren’t forgotten.”
Atlanta Public Schools Associate Superintendent Steve Smith, Target Store Manager Donna Stalter and school board members Byron Amos and Brenda Muhammad also attended the ribbon cutting and shared Jacobs’ sentiments that Target’s investment was much more than computers and library books.
Atlanta Board of Education vice-chair and district two representative Byron Amos said, “This is evidence that when the district, the city of Atlanta and our partners come together, we can do amazing things. Just look at how much these kids are enjoying this. This is
something they will always remember. ”
Jacobs’ former student, Portia Jordan also attended the event. Jordan works for the H.J. Russell Company as a project manager. The company oversaw the construction aspect of the makeover, and Jordan says she was proud to be part of the process.
“To see the excitement on the kids’ faces and see the process unfold from beginning to end, and to be in a position to give back—I’m just very blessed,” Jordan stated.
“I was here in 1985, and the way it looked when I walked in before we started the construction, is exactly how it looked back then,” she added.
Principal Jacobs looked on proudly as the newest generation of Woodson students filed into the library with thrill and awe illuminating their smiles.
“I think that the new library is so beautiful and so practical for small children. And I am grateful to have the opportunity to come back and visit Carter G. Woodson,” Jacobs said.
Target has renovated 118 school libraries through the library makeover program since 2007.