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The Nest Full of Opportunities for Future Cardinals

Community partners celebrated the grand opening of The Nest, an innovative learning lab at Pietzsch-MacArthur Elementary. The idea originated with Lamar University (LU) former First Lady Nancy Evans, who wanted to have a space that encourages literacy and excitement for reading.

The Nest, designed to help struggling readers and engage high achievers with STEAM activities, features stations and activities that touch on science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics, reading, career exploration and early college awareness. It includes a fully-designed and stocked learning lab with alternative seating, iPad stations with Bluetooth keyboards, virtual reality goggles, a clear-touch/STARBoard reading nook, a career corner and more.  

Working with principal Audrey Collins, Evans wanted a place that would support students and allow for collaboration, tutoring, mentoring, special programming and faculty development. With assistance from Entergy Texas, Community Bank of Texas, the Rotary Club of Beaumont, LU Chapter 95 - The National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the Southeast Texas Food Bank’s School Tools and more, Evans dream became a reality.

Event organizers Teresa Simpson, LU Special Assistant to the Dean for Student Success and Clinical Instructor for Educational Leadership, and Norman Bellard, LU Special Assistant to the President, said they hope the lab is not only a great resource for Pietzsch-MacArthur students, but will serve as a model for future spaces. Bellard announced at the event that funding had been secured for six additional campuses and the plan is to open two additional innovative learning labs at Blanchette and Charlton-Pollard during the 2019-20 academic year.