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Southport Middle School gets upgraded media center

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Students at Southport Middle School got their first look at the school’s upgraded media center April 9, the first project unveiled as part of the leadup to the 2022 College Football Playoff national championship in Indianapolis.

The College Football Playoff Foundation and the city’s playoff host committee partnered with Lakeshore Learning to modernize the media center, which has new computer stations, tables, chairs and a seating area for reading and studying. The center also has new tablets, 3D pens, a sewing machine and Lego wall.

“We just had books and things like that. It was OK at first,” seventh grader Samuel Lloyd said as he used one of the 3D pens for the first time. “This makes me want to come back here even more.”

Lloyd laughed off a question about if he gets good grades, but he knows this much about his improved media center: “It makes me more motivated to get good grades for language arts and things like that.”

Southport Middle School has 1,190 students enrolled, according to data from the state. About 40% of students are white, and about 11% are Black or African American. Nearly half of students are Asian or Hispanic.

Perry Township Schools Superintendent Patrick Mapes said the new technology and other upgrades should help the school better serve its diverse student body.

Part of the reason cities want to host large sporting events such as the national championship or Super Bowl is because it usually brings investments into other areas. The College Football Playoff Foundation traditionally focuses on education.

“Our job is to use the popularity of football to benefit teachers,” said Britton Banowsky, the foundation’s executive director.

The Indianapolis host committee said it will invest $1 million to helping teachers and students through school makeovers, as well as programs to help with e-learning and recruiting diverse teachers.

The next schools scheduled to get a media center makeover are Garden City Elementary School in Wayne Township, James and Rosemary Phalen Leadership Academy on the northeast side and Victory College Prep on the southeast side.

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

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