When Nathaniel Adams joined Sherrill Elementary and Middle School as principal in 1999, the school’s sub-standard test scores troubled him. He was equally unhappy with the outward appearance of the school. A firm believer that a good learning environment is critical to the development of strong learning skills, Principal Adams began his search for a local business partner that would foster a positive interchange and help him to drive the school towards the success he knew was possible.
At the same time, Scott Taylor, CEO of Artisan and National Logistics Management (NLM) was searching for a way to involve his colleagues and employees with the inner-city community. Scott believes that every company within a community should want to do something for the betterment of that community
In 1999, an associate of Scott familiar with his work with the community introduced him to Principal Adams. Upon speaking with Principal Adams, Scott immediately understood that adopting Sherrill could prove to be one of Artisan and NLM's most valuable investments. Seeing the passion Principal Adams had for educating children confirmed that their partnership would be successful. Scott and Principal Adams discussed at great length what Artisan and NLM could do to help Sherrill School. In the end, they decided the initiatives offering the most comprehensive and long-term impact would focus on mentoring and tutoring, computer training, and exposure to professionals in a variety of industries.
Agreeing with Principal Adams' belief that an improvement in the outward appearance of the school could be the first step in putting it back on a path to educational excellence, Artisan and NLM funded several beautification efforts. Helping foster school pride, employees worked with Sherrill students, teachers and staff to beautify the school. They volunteered by applying fresh coats of paint to the curbs, picking up trash and sweeping the floors. By coming together and pooling their resources, Sherrill School and Artisan /NLM have helped brighten the hallways and the students' smiles by showing them that continuously taking an active role in a community effort and environment can return the most meaningful rewards.
Knowing that cosmetic changes alone could not forge the path, they led the development of the Adopt-a-School Business/Education Initiative – a program seeking to enrich the students' learning through tutoring, mentoring, computer training, and exposure to professionals in a variety of industries and ultimately, preparing them to function successfully in the global marketplace.
Through the Adopt-a-School Initiative, the students at Sherill Elementary and Middle School are not only improving their standardized test scores in reading and writing but equally as important, they are learning the value of self-confidence, leadership and community service.