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VOL. 129 | NO. 232 | Thursday, November 27, 2014

Hearts and Minds

Colliers, Prologis help students at Treadwell Middle School

By Amos Maki

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Last fall, officials at Treadwell Middle School launched a school-wide beautification campaign, reaching out to anyone or any group that could help.

Jenny Cupp of ProLogis, left, and Frazier Baker of Colliers International Memphis are joined by coworkers as they sort though a pile of donated coats for students at Treadwell Middle School.

(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)

Lowe’s Home Improvement provided a $5,000 grant to help beautify a courtyard at Treadwell Middle and Memphis City Beautiful Commission also provided a grant and much more – a connection between the school and two commercial real estate businesses, Prologis and Colliers International Memphis.

In August, Colliers and Prologis staff members descended on the middle school, located at Summer Avenue and Highland Street, for a massive clean-up effort – everything from picking up trash to planting flowers and hauling mulch – to beautify the campus before school started.

“We know in order for kids to take pride in their school they need a great learning environment,” said Tonye McBride, the second-year principal at Treadwell Middle, of the clean-up effort. “I think the community is really happy to see something happening with the school and that we’re trying to make something special for our sake and for their sake.”

Lindsey Browndyke, marketing and research coordinator for Colliers, said working with the school seemed like a perfect opportunity to “give back to the community, to create a sense of pride and hopefully boost morale within the student body.”

“I think it gives the kids something to be proud of,” said Browndyke. “They get to come to school in an area that’s pretty and clean and I think that has an impact on the students.”

That clean-up effort was the beginning of a relationship that has budded like the flowers planted in the learning garden in the school’s courtyard.

“Once they got involved they started doing other things,” said McBride.

Those other things include donating school uniforms, supplies and a drive to collect coats to keep kids warm this winter.

McBride said she received a call out of the blue one afternoon from Colliers principal Andy Cates.

“He said he had a surprise for me,” said McBride. “When he showed up he had 100 uniforms.”

McBride said the help from Colliers, Prologis and other community partners is invaluable to helping students perform well in the classroom.

“As a staff we’re often buying supplies, or uniforms or other things students need so the kids can come to school and take advantage of the education we’re offering,” said McBride. “Sometimes when you’re in need you can’t do that. Our students work hard and we want to help them in every way possible so we’re just very appreciative of them and anyone who is willing to come in and help.”

As the mercury started to dip earlier than usual this year, Prologis and Colliers launched a coat drive to help the neediest of the school’s 410 students. Prologis reached out to vendors and placed donation boxes in 32 tenant spaces. Colliers and Prologis also passed out fliers about the coat drive at multiple locations.

Colliers and Prologis officials believe they’ll deliver around 250 coats to Treadwell during the first week of December.

“Prologis and Colliers teamed up to make an impact in our local community and we are thrilled that this event has received such a wonderful response,” said April Patten, leasing assistant for Prologis in Memphis and Nashville. Patten said Prologis hopes to officially adopt Treadwell Middle.

Browndyke said she knows the coats will do more than keep the students warm.

“They can be warm and know that somebody cares about them, that someone cares about their livelihood, their well-being,” said Browndyke. “This coat drive will create a lot of smiles and warm hearts and most of all meet the needs of so many children.”

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