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Eastside High School receives $25,000 in furniture

COVINGTON - Eastside High School has an entire classroom full of new, innovative furniture, and it didn't cost the school a dime.

The HON Company, a "smart" office furniture provider, and Total Office Products & Service donated in December nearly $25,000 worth of classroom items to EHS and the Newton County School System.

"The new SmartLink classroom furniture system is designed to support a variety of teaching and learning styles ... and fosters collaborative and interactive learning," said Deborah Robertson, associate superintendent for administration at NCSS.

The furniture includes a teacher station with adjustable and flexible storage, student desks that are wheelchair friendly and provides storage, a modular storage station with adjustable shelving and bins and a wall rail system featuring a Smart Board that allows the instructor to touch and interact with students.

EHS teacher Beth Bryan is using the model as part of her current events class and other history courses. She said her students enjoy the Smart Board for its new technology and the desks because the shape of them allows her to reconfigure them in individual or group settings that give the students a chance to have a group discussion or have Bryan sit in the middle of three students to teach them.

SmartLink furniture also is said to provide better organization and is attractive, durable, mobile and comfortable to fit a variety of individuals and preferences, according to HON.

The furniture was set up as a model classroom for NCSS employees to check out and other school districts to visit after hours.

"The classroom ... will allow the school system to test the new furniture," Robertson said. "The open house provided participants with an opportunity to see the furniture and how it works in the classroom."

The companies plan to periodically invite non-NCSS educators to the school after hours so there will be no interruption of classroom instruction. Robertson said the companies chose EHS as a model school because of its proximity to Interstate 20, which made it more accessible for those educators in other school districts to locate and visit.

After the model classroom is no longer needed for open houses, EHS will get to keep the furniture to use as it pleases.

More information about the HON Company and SmartLink furniture is available on its Web site, www.hon.com.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.