Thursday, January 14, 2010

Through Your Lens: School Facilities Across America

At the end of summer '09, I learned about Through Your Lens, "a collaboration of The 21st Century School Fund, Critical Exposure, and Healthy Schools Campaign to raise awareness of the need to fund school buildings that support learning and provide a safe, healthy environment for students and teachers." The contest challenged teachers, students, and other members of public school communities nationwide to photograph their school campus: both the good (subjects which show off school pride) and the bad (deterioration). I responded to the call for photos, by revisiting my alma mater Langley High School.

I submitted the photos in this post, along with the following statement:

U.S. News and World Report listed Langley High School in the top 100 schools in December 2008. As a graduate from the class of 2003, I can vouch for the high-quality education available from a dedicated faculty and staff at the public school in McLean, VA. Though during a recent visit to the campus, I realized that the facility, built in 1965, is a little rough around the edges. Fortunately, a new wing with shiny classrooms was just added to Langley's facade. But the renovations reveal a stark contrast to the rest of the aging building. Many details have been overlooked, including broken and tattered door signs. And the outdoor basketball court has rusty hoops and grass growing through broken asphalt. Despite some necessary maintenance work, there is a lot of charming history literally drawn on the school walls, including a map of Virginia in the science wing and a Saxon Pride mural by the gymnasium. It would be great if finances could allow a better preservation of facilities for the wonderful LHS community.

This afternoon, I learned that the picture below of the basketball court was published in Through the Lens, a book created as a result of the photo contest. The book will be delivered to key leaders in the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the US Department of Education.

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