TWIN FALLS — Canyon Ridge High School parents are thinking outside the box for ways they can improve the school.
Last year, the Parent Teacher Student Association received a $5,000 grant to renovate a classroom into a meeting room for parents. Now, it’s raising money to install a “Legacy of Liberty“ display — ideally, by spring break.
Legacy of Liberty is a company that provides all the necessary display items, including framed photos and documents. Students use their smartphones to scan QR codes to pull up videos, text and games to learn about the U.S. Constitution and other events in the nation’s history.
“It’s a fun, interactive way of learning where we came from and how our nation began,” PTSA president Melissa Ficklin said.
In total, the project will cost nearly $7,000, including the installation.
Principal Kasey Teske heard about the interactive display when Legacy of Liberty’s owner came to visit Canyon Ridge. “I became interested in it because that’s what our whole country is about — liberty,” he said.
Also, refugee students make up about 10 percent of Canyon Ridge’s student body and some grew up “where they didn’t get to enjoy that liberty in other places,” he said.
More than 200 Utah schools already have a Legacy of Liberty wall, but Canyon Ridge High will be the first in Idaho. School leaders hope other Magic Valley schools will follow.
The project may sound like an ambitious undertaking. But at Canyon Ridge High, parent leaders like to push the envelope — and the Legacy of Liberty wall fits the bill.
“It’s definitely something that will leave a stamp on the school,” Ficklin said.
The display will be on a wall in the front foyer near the gymnasium and cafeteria. Legacy of Liberty will update the digital content every month.
“What’s really cool is the content will not get boring for (students),” Ficklin said.
The PTSA has already held a few fundraisers — including at Barnes & Noble and Chick-fil-A — plus contacted the Twin Falls Optimist Club seeking financial support and will likely organize a T-shirt sale.
Last year, Ficklin told Teske she wanted to pursue a big project every year. Teske suggested a Legacy of Liberty wall.
Teske’s advisory class raised about $700 for the project in the spring. He handed the project over to Ficklin this school year.
It’s the second year Ficklin has been Canyon Ridge’s PTSA president. She has four children, including one at Canyon Ridge, and will have at least one student at the school for the next 12 years.
She wants to leave a legacy.
Last year, Ficklin applied for and received a grant through Lowe’s Small Toolbox for Education program. Using the money, the PTSA created a “parent place.”
The group gutted a classroom, painted it, brought in livingroom furniture, created a children’s sitting area and commissioned to have a custom conference table built.
“The goal for that room was to have parent meetings in it,” Ficklin said, including for sports teams, the PTSA and booster club. “It’s kind of a hangout for parents.”
Canyon Ridge’s PTSA has 55 parent members and 82 student members. “This is the first year we’ve really involved students,” Ficklin said.
In addition to the Legacy of Liberty wall, the group is working on a Christmastime project to provide blankets for homeless families in the school district.