Brownsville Area initiatives foster a bright future for students

Brownsville Area School District  |  Posted on

Students, teachers, administrators and community partners celebrate the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Future Ready Center at Brownsville Area.

Brownsville Area School District is taking strides to create a brighter future for students and the community through several initiatives.

The Future is Mine club is designed to get students involved in the community and to encourage student leadership and initiative. The group created the Future Ready Center, a space in school that helps prepare students for future careers. With the help of advisors and an architectural and engineering company, the middle school library was transformed into a collaborative work space. Students visited other schools to get ideas for the space, then presented plan to school board, which approved it. During remodeling, the students and asked for grants and donations from local companies. They received a cash grant of $50,000 as well as donations of technology and furniture. Fayette County Career & Technical Institute masonry students built the center’s fireplace and manufacturing technology students built the day bench and coffee bar, which will be run by life skills students at the district. After months or planning and work, the center opened in 2020.

According to its website, the mission of the Students in Action team at Brownsville is “to bridge the gap between school and community, to restore the historic town of Brownsville, PA to economic and social prosperity, and to foster pride in the hearts of our people.” To this end, the team designed a Teen Space, a place in the Brownsville Free Public Library where students can go after school to study and hangout, and which would also increase traffic to the underutilized library. In the past, the group also facilitated the construction of a park and amphitheater in downtown Brownsville over the course of several years.

The school’s Perennial Project club completed beautification and cleanup of downtown Brownsville through the planting of annual and perennial flowers and installation of long-term and temporary art projects. Students from numerous athletic teams and clubs are charged with maintained different areas around the community including the downtown stage area and a flower garden in town. The students work with landscape architects for planning purposes.

A Diversity Team was recently formed that implemented a diversity class that teaches students ways to show respect for one another and inclusion. The formation of the class began after Royona Lewis and Keena Thomas, two Brownsville Area students of color, constructed a PowerPoint presentation exploring ways the school could improve in this area and presented it to their high school principal. The administration responded by forming the Diversity Team to discover and implement ways to celebrate and integrate voices of color into curriculum and other parts of the school experience.

Learn more about all of these initiatives through videos on the district’s YouTube channel.