West Dallas Elementary School Receives Renovation Money – News5 Dallas-Fort Worth

The Dunkirk Foundry Agreement provides a window into GFG's complex financing web

“We set out to do what hadn’t been done in years because of our staff, working hard, our students believing in themselves, and the staff believing in our students,” she said. “With the renovation money, we’re going to continue to grow and you will see more heirs, more leaders coming out of C.F. Carr in the future.” Principal Calotta Hooks said C.F. Carr has improved to a B rating in state accountability scoring in just the past year. Former Carr student James Armstrong, a West Dallas Pastor, is also the leader of housing non-profit “Builders of Hope.”

Trustee Maxie Johnson said the new investment helps reverse past inequity. “We did have a mentality of, ‘Hey, we have to take care of ourselves because the rest of Dallas kind of looks down on us, in some way or is not as supportive as we though they should be,’” Mayor Johnson said. “We dealt with those inequities for years but we didn’t use them as an excuse not to achieve. So, we worked hard.”

“I told the district if you give us resources, we can achieve. There’s not an achievement gap. There’s an opportunity gap,” he said. Mayor Johnson said the West Dallas community treated him very well growing up, but he believes the rest of the city did not treat his neighborhood so well.

“It’s so very important that we invest in schools, our local neighborhood schools, where kids can walk from home to school and have a close relationship with the teachers in this community,” Armstrong said. School leaders said neighborhood input will be sought to finalize C.F. Carr renovation plans.  A caring teacher provided special attention years ago Armstrong said, and with extra time at school, he caught up on reading and math. Now he said he hopes the renovation helps the school connect with future students.

“In this classroom, I sat at the back and struggled because I couldn’t see the board, not because I was at the back but because I didn’t have resources for glasses,” he said. Armstrong said he attended first grade in the very same classroom as Thursday’s C.F. Carr celebration occurred.

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