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'Dream library' makeover could be coming to Snow Hill Middle, and here's how you can help

Salisbury Daily Times | delmarva now. January 26, 2024

By Olivia Minzola, Salisbury Daily News | delmarva now. 

Snow Hill Middle School may soon be home to the library of its dreams thanks to one local librarian.

Library and media specialist Beau Williams of Snow Hill Middle School has been selected as one of 12 finalists in a national classroom furniture giveaway from furniture maker KI. Williams was selected from hundreds of teachers who submitted designs for their dream classroom or library.

According to KI, a total of four winners will each be awarded $40,000 worth of KI furniture of their choosing to turn their dream learning space into a reality. Three winners will receive a furniture makeover for their classroom, lab, makerspace, or art or music space. A fourth winner will receive a school library or media center makeover.

Snow Hill Middle School, Snow Hill, Md. MEGAN RAYMOND / SALISBURY DAILY TIMES

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"We're thrilled to host our learning space design competition for the second year in a row and expand this year's prizes to reflect the learning that happens in and out of the traditional classroom," said Bryan Ballegeer, vice president of education markets at KI.

"We were incredibly inspired by the creativity of last year's contestants. We're eager to give educators the opportunity to design their own learning spaces to meet their needs and the needs of their students," Ballegeer added.

Vote for Mr. Williams’ Library Media Center | KI Classroom Furniture Giveaway 

Williams designed a dynamic media center based on his students' input, including an esports and gamification center and a variety of lab, teamwork and quiet areas to support all students regardless of their learning style. His video submission can be viewed online.

"The brilliance behind my design lies in its versatility. While optimized for e-sports, it transforms seamlessly for small group instruction, centered around the TV. Moreover, it offers comfortable seating for students, ensuring a conducive learning environment," Williams wrote in his contest submission.

"This thoughtful design also paves the way for station work within the designated section of the library, fostering collaborative learning experiences, and even provides cozy individual reading areas. In essence, my design is a dynamic and multifunctional space, tailored to meet the diverse instructional needs of educators and create an engaging and adaptable learning," Williams added.

With the majority of students at Snow Hill Middle School coming from low-income households, Williams aims to provide a school haven and hub for students and families who face daily challenges.

"This design not only aligns with our school's educational objectives, but also takes into account the distinctive needs of our community. Snow Hill, situated along the scenic Pocomoke River, is a rural farming community where 58% of our students are part of the Free and Reduced Meals program," Williams said.

"The transformation of our learning environment would mean the world to those who struggle to meet their needs, reinforcing our commitment to inclusivity, accessibility, and creating a nurturing space for every member of our school community," he added.

How you can vote to help Snow Hill Middle School bid

Now, its up to the public to decide a winner. The contest now goes to a public vote, with Mr. Williams hoping to beat out two other finalists in the library category. The poll is open now through Wednesday, Jan. 31, at Winners will be announced Friday, Feb. 2.

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