Fifth-grader Deondray Weddington smiled as he read his answer scrawled in orange crayon on a worksheet.
“My favorite place is the MAC bus,” he said.
Just an hour before, Deondray and about 20 of his Tavelli Elementary School classmates stepped inside PSD’s new Mobile Academic Classroom or MAC for short. They were the first group of students to get a peak of the classroom that had just rolled up to their neighborhood during summer break.
“It’s really nice,” he said. “I’m excited to spend time here with my friends.
What was once an old school bus, the MAC is an exciting classroom for Tavelli students. Standard bus benches have been replaced with bright custom-made furniture. White boards line the sides of the bus, offering kids a place to write, and a reading area in the back invites students to take a seat and pick up a book.
“It was very emotional,” Tavelli Principal Christine Hendricks said about seeing students excitedly flock to the bus for the first time. “To see it all come together was just amazing, really.”
Hendricks developed the idea for the MAC with PSD Superintendent Dr. Sandra Smyser and Tavelli Assistant Principal Shirley Woods. They had been brainstorming ways to keep kids engaged over the summer without the expense of transporting them across town to get to class.
“We all looked at each other and thought ‘what if we just go to them?’” Hendricks recalled.
MAC students will explore science, technology, literacy and math over the summer, with a chance to explore passion projects and play outside.
Parents of Tavelli students who live near the Bull Run apartment complex can stop by and sign their students up when MAC is in session between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Monday through Thursday outside the Bull Run apartment complex.