Growing together

Please enjoy this excerpt from the FY22 Impact Report.

“Through U2L’s efforts to boost morale for staff and students, our environment has improved, inside and out. The climate and culture at McShan has really blossomed and remained high even through COVID. U2L is the most organized volunteer organization in the history of mankind!”

Principal Joseph Henry Medaris

McShan Elementary

Serving a large population of 35+ native languages, McShan Elementary needs community support to create a learning environment that engages their 568 diverse learners (460 English language learners) in experiential, tangible ways that foster understanding.

The Serena Simmons Connelly U2L Liaison program lives at the heart of our model, constantly working in a 1:1 relationship with school leadership to listen, lend a hand, and work together
toward climate, culture, and achievement goals.

One of 50 U2L liaisons, Lene Godat goes above and beyond, working with McShan Elementary in the Vickery Meadow neighborhood. Since 2020,
she has listened to their needs and implemented tailored programs for McShan students.

In addition to tutoring students in reading, Lene is a master gardener and oversees their garden on site. The garden has become a source of teaching, learning, and sharing for students and families alike.

In her weekly classes, Lene hears many different languages as they work together in the garden. She teaches about parts of plants, photosynthesis, the importance of insects, and harvesting vegetables.

By giving them hands-on, relatable experiences like planting and watering, she has seen students find renewed joy and excitement for learning. “Recently, they named the resident
garden spider Charlotte, released ladybugs and earthworms, and admired the butterflies and dragonflies that flit around in the garden. They love cutting flowers to bring back to the classroom. In fact, some of the students have made beautiful flower arrangements!”

Additionally, Lene serves on McShan’s SiteBased Decision Making committee and A-team. She tutors students in reading and math as part of McShan Reads, and supports teachers with snacks and wellness gifts throughout the year with U2L resources.