Verizon Innovative Learning is not just financial support, it’s sweat equity.
“YEEESSS,” a student exclaims when Carla Aaron-Lopez tells her class they’re going to the AR/VR room.
It’s not every day a middle school art class has access to virtual reality headsets and a green screen, but at Whitewater Middle School in Charlotte, NC, it is. The school’s augmented and virtual reality room is part of its brand new Verizon Innovative Learning lab that includes 3D printers, a laser cutter and vinyl cutter along with modular working tables, a large TV and vertical bookshelves.
But it wasn’t always like this at the school. Four years ago, when Principal Beth Thompson started at Whitewater, it was a failing school, ranked in the bottom three of 169 schools in the district.
In Thompson’s time, it has made a complete turnaround, and in the 2016-2017 school year was one of only two Title 1 schools in the district to exceed growth.