485 Days and Counting: NYC's Education Department Stymies Public Records Requests, Both Big and Small

The 74 Interview: Alexis Morin on Students For Education Reform, Youth Power & Achieving Educational Justice

How Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Is Traumatizing Students Across the U.S. — Including Many Born Here

10 Keys to How the Class of 2021 Views the World: They Never Used Landlines or Desktops—But Are Emoji Experts

Success Academy Students Outscore Every District in New York State on Annual English and Math Exams

10 Tips for Immigrant Students, Families to Be Safe Part of LAUSD’s New ‘We Are One’ Guide

Alliance College-Ready Public Schools: AMPing Up Its Alumni Network to Track & Guide Students Through College

New Study: KIPP Pre-K Has Big — and Possibly Lasting — Impact on Early Student Achievement

My First Solar Eclipse! 17 Eye-Opening Photos of Kids Experiencing Science Along the Path of Totality

Bullying on the Rise in NYC Middle and High Schools, NYDN Analysis of Student Surveys Shows

Immigration Agents Inside Schools? Why Some Activists Are Warning Undocumented Students About Trump’s Policy Shifts

NYC Numbers Show City’s Unassigned Teachers Paid $10,000 More on Average Than Those Teaching Kids Full Time

As Immigrant Students Worry About a New School Year, Districts & Educators Unveil Plans to Protect Their Safety (and Privacy)

A D.C. Breakthrough as Traditional Public School Students Post Gains on PARCC Test, Outperforming Charters

This Week in ESSA: Final 4 First-Round States Get Federal Feedback, 6 States Now Approved, Chiefs for Change Weighs In

‘No One Is Above the Law’: Divisive Trump Surrogate Carl Paladino Removed From Buffalo School Board

Veto Override Uncertain as Fight Over Funding Illinois Schools Moves to the House

Noble Network of Charter Schools: It’s Not Just About Going to College, but About Global Perspective & Leaving Chicago

74 Interview: David Hardy on Putting Purpose Before Politics and Kids Before Adults in Leading Ohio’s 2nd State-Takeover District

For Schools, an Eclipse Conundrum: To Open or Close? For Fun or for Science?

Novel Idea: Texas Teachers Turn Middle School Hall Into Library for Giants With Painted Literary Lockers

July 31, 2017

Talking Points

A library for giants? Teachers paint lockers as spines of students’ favorite books

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

This article is one in a series at The 74 that profiles the heroes, victories, success stories, and random acts of kindness to be found at schools all across America. Read more of our recent inspiring profiles at The74million.org/series/inspiring.

The teachers at Pat M. Neff Middle School in San Antonio worked hard to win grants to beef up the school’s stash of brand-new novels. Then, they decided to create something special to celebrate those novels, all while giving the 55-year-old school’s hallways a distinct look: literary lockers.

Following a successful fundraising campaign that easily more than met the $400 goal to pay for supplies, teachers from a variety of departments donated a week of their summer vacation to repaint the school’s blue lockers as spines of popular books: Matilda, The Hobbit, Tom Sawyer, The Giver, The Diary of Anne Frank, the Twilight series.

Think of it as a life-size library, for a giant.

Teacher Vanessa Mercedes wrote on her GoFundMe page that the staff of the Title 1 school strives to give students everything that wealthier schools enjoy and that the teachers remain “hungry to make a positive impact in each student’s life as they grow.”



 

The project started in the sixth-grade hallway, teacher Jessica Sweeney told KENS 5 News, with books traditionally read in sixth-grade English Language Arts classes. But the literary-minded artists mixed in books found in both seventh- and eighth-grade classrooms — and they plan to expand the project into multiple hallways.

“Even though this is mainly [the] sixth-grade hallway, all grades walk through here,” Sweeney said, “so when they see those book spines, our hope is that it kind of reminds them, ‘Oh, hey, I’ve read that book!’ or, ‘Hey, we’re reading this book now! We’re reading this book next.’ ”