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Bring Your Kids Home-Innovation, Creation and Repurposing Spaces

location_on Duquesne, United States

Duquesne Elementary School has transformed its building to meet the needs of its students in grades PreK-6.

The Duquesne Elementary School (DES) has repurposed many classrooms to meet the changing needs of students in grades PreK-6. Over the past few years, DES has repurposed multiple rooms in the 106 year old building and we now have two maker spaces, a library media center and a coding and robotics lab for students to further their technology use in the classroom and apply it to real life.



HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.

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March 15th, 2023
Our building began to take on a different look when we started to paint the walls a different color than the boring old white that they had been for probably 100 + years.

About the innovation

Bring Your Kids Home

Duquesne Elementary School (DES) is transforming its school for students in grades PreK-6.  We started by painting the walls different colors and allowing teachers to use flexible seating in their classrooms and in the common spaces of the building.  Multiple grants from Donors Choose, the Grable Foundation, the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and PNC Bank have supported this work.

The Duquesne City School District (DCSD) is located in Duquesne, Pennsylvania which has a population of 5,534 residents in its 1.92 square miles (2016). The median household income for the residents of the Duquesne community is $21,495 as compared to $55,000 nationally and the median household value is $36,000 as compared to $184,000 nationally (2016). More than 40 percent of residents live in poverty. This is nearly three times the national average of 14 percent. 

Despite these challenges, DES has continued to thrive, specifically in the areas of STEAM and maker learning. Over the past four years, DES has repurposed storage rooms, closets and older classrooms to create two maker spaces, a media center and a coding and robotics classroom .  

Implementation steps

Paint Some Walls
Painting the walls is probably one of the least expensive ways to change the look of your classroom.  Students will love to enter a classroom that is bright and inviting.
Use social media
Talk with your Superintendent and develop social media accounts for your school to communicate with your community.  Not only is this a great way to gather ideas for your space, but this is the perfect format for you to share with the world what you have accomplished.
Flexible Seating
The teachers and our building have been very creative in designing flexible seating for their students.  The first step for most of the classrooms was to get rid of the teacher's desk.  The teacher has now become mobile in the classroom to meet the needs of the student.  In most classrooms, desks have been switched for tables and there are now a variety of seating choices like bean bags, bungie chairs, exercise balls and stools to promote student choice.
Ask For Support
Duquesne has been very fortunate to receive grant funding to be able to do this work.  There are multiple outlets globally like donorschoose.org that can help support this.  All you need is a vision and some words to help bring your dream to life.

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