(audience clap and cheer) – So our good neighborhood,
Columbus, continues. You’ve heard of extreme makeovers
for homes and businesses but I’ve never heard
of classroom makeovers to make learning environments better. My next guest is a former
teacher from Columbus who’s literally transforming classrooms. Check out these amazing
before and after pictures. (audience cheer) They’re incredible and listen to this. The woman behind these classroom makeovers does it completely out of her own pocket. Please welcome Brittany,
(audience clap and cheer) today’s good neighbor y’all! ♪ Good, good so good ♪ ♪ Good neighbor ♪ ♪ Help please ♪ (everyone laughs) – So Brittany, how did
you get involved in this? – Yeah, so I was a high
school English teacher for five years and I loved
working with students and being that positive role model. And I also loved the
classroom design aspect where I got to create open
and inviting environments for every student that
enters my classroom. – Yeah. – In my brain, I was like how
can I fuse the two together? And that’s when I brought the
idea of a classroom makeover. – [Kelly] It’s amazing!
(audience clap and cheer) – [Brittany] Yes, thank you. – How do you go about
selecting the teachers? ‘Cause there’s so many teachers in need of this kind of help, yeah.
– [Brittany] Oh for sure, and like so teachers from
all around the United States are able to apply and I actually read every single application that comes in because I want to really reach
the most deserving teachers and as we all know, like teachers
are all deserving, right? (audience claps and cheers) – And they’re under
paid, under appreciated. – Yeah, under appreciated. – Yeah. – And so, but I really want to find the teachers that need the
classroom makeover the most. – What do y’all think about this? – One good teacher can change your life. – Amen.
– [Kelly] That’s right. (audience claps) – You know, one person
who believes in you, who tells you that
you’re something special or you have something that other people don’t see can really change your life. So what an amazing job you do. Amazing work.
– It’s incredible. – [Kelly] Yeah.
– Thank you. – [Kelly] It’s incredible. (audience clap and cheer) – Thank you, I’m thrilled. – And right now you’re… Yes! (everyone claps and cheers) (crowd cheering drowns out speaker) – Yeah. – So right now you’re actually working on another classroom
makeover right now, right? – Yes, yes, for Kristen. She is a special education
teacher in Columbus, Ohio, which is where I’m from, so
it’s very close to my heart. So, as I was reading
Kristen’s application, the first line said, “every nine seconds a student
drops out of high school.” And that made me like stop and reflect because I mean that is so
powerful and sad and true. But as I continued
reading her application, it was just so evident that Kristen and the staff of the
Academy for Urban Scholars are dedicated to making sure
that that’s not the case for their students. – [Kelly] Yeah. – Yeah, so they’re there like,
– [Kelly] They care. – They are the true superhero teachers. They are going above and
beyond and just changing lives. – That’s so cool. (audience clap and cheer) Kristen is backstage right now and we’re going to meet
her after the break and plus she doesn’t know, Brittany has been hard at work, giving her classroom a makeover and we’re going to reveal the
results here after the break. I’m so excited. Please welcome Kristen, ya’ll! (audience clap and cheer) (upbeat music) You look so cute. Good to see you, come on over. – Hi. – Nice to see you. – Hi. – Oh my God, I’m so
excited, I love teachers. So tell us about your students ’cause she told us a
little about your school. – So first off, our students
are just absolutely amazing and I’m gonna cry! – Oh that’s okay, I cry
all the time, welcome! Yeah, yeah. – So, we serve students 14 to 21 and in Ohio they have until they’re 21, to earn a high school diploma free, before they would have to
go on and get their GED. And so we serve as 14 to 21 year olds. We serve 99% African-American. We serve 100% free lunch. – Wow. – We have all 63 students
who are teen parents, several students who have dropped out. They’re choosing to come
back despite all the barriers that they go through.
– Hurdles. – Homelessness and it’s raw, it’s gritty but they are fighters and they persevere. (audience clap and cheer) – And education is key. – Yes. – Yeah. – And so it’s like– – Education is the door
to the not being homeless. – Absolutely. – The difference between having
a job and not having a job. – Absolutely and if it
truly wasn’t for us, myself, the other teachers,
the admin, our founder, Mr Gregory– – Like the idea of this school in general. – I don’t know where they’d be. So, if it wasn’t for us.
– Yeah. That’s amazing, it’s really cool. (audience claps) So you, you wrote Brittany
for a classroom makeover, why? What was your classroom looking like? – Very boring. (laughs) Small, window-less. – Window-less? – Window-less, yes. And so being a charter,
a public charter school, we receive funding from the state but it’s a fraction of what
public schools would receive and so every dollar we
stretch to make sure that that dollar goes back
into the student’s education, the teachers. – [Kelly] Yeah. – So having, you know,
extra money for supplies. – It’s not really there. – It’s not really there, exactly. – Yeah. – So I reached out to
Brittany several times and several times. – You’re like, “no, really, please.” – Yeah I’m like, “please, please, pick me! Pick our school and showcase this.” And we’ve been to several homes and just seeing what they
come, where they come from. And so knowing that they’re
going to come into a space hopefully that’s… – [Kelly] Happy.
– Blows their mind, and happy and safe and just beautiful… – [Kelly] And creative. All your rooms have a lot of color. – [Kristen] It’s beautiful.
– [Brittany] Thank you. – Yeah, it’s just amazing what you do. So Brittany has a surprise
for Kristen, I think. – So you know that we have
been working together, right, for the past few weeks? Kind of like talking about
what you want in a classroom but what you don’t know
is that 48 hours ago, my team and I completely
flipped your classroom without you knowing. (audience cheer) And you’re about to see it,
live on The Kelly Clarkson Show. – So are you ready to see it? I’m ready to see. (audience cheers) All right, let’s go right here. Let’s go back to our good
friend Cameron Fontana from ABC 6, Columbus. We’re standing by the Academy for Urban Scholars High School Hi Cameron! Hey Kelly. Kristen, you have walked
through this door for 10 years seeing your classroom one way. Here it is! Your brand new classroom! (audience clap and cheer) – [Kelly] Wow! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Here you go, here you go! (laughs and cries) It’s so beautiful. – It doesn’t even look
like the same building. – Oh my gosh, okay wait– – I mean, the art on the walls, Kelly. – Yeah. – The new furniture here, the computers. I mean this classroom even
has a green velvet couch. (everyone laughs and claps) Look, is this not incredible? – [Kelly] Wow. – And look at this, most importantly. All of the lives that are changed here. This quote on the wall, “it always seems
impossible until it’s done” by Nelson Mandela. A lot’s gonna be changed in this room. – [Kelly] Wow. Well Brittany, tell us what
you did with this classroom? I love those colors, they’re
calming, they’re nice. – That’s so important,
calming in the classroom. So when I was chatting with Kristen, she said that she really
wanted like a bookstore, coffee shop kind of vibe. So my team and I tried to
reflect that in the space and she also sent over the quote that we see big on the wall that she wants to instill
that in her students. And I thought that was really powerful, so we blew it up for the first thing that students see when
they walk in the classroom. – [Kelly] Yeah. – And all of the wood
furniture that you see is from Hertz Furniture. They create student
centered learning spaces but it’s also beautiful and
functional at the same time. – [Kelly] Yeah. And then that green velvet
couch that y’all love so much and the sideboard, it’s
from a local small business in Columbus, Ohio called Elm and Iron. I want to furnish my house,
(laughter) from Elm and Iron, for sure. And then last but not least, we wanted to equip Kristen
with technology for her and her students. So Lenovo, so generously donated, 15 YOGA 640 laptops. – [Kelly] Wow.
(audience clap and cheer) That’s so cool! – So that’ll help you, you
know, and your student’s thrive. – That’s so cool, your
community is coming together to support people in the
community, that’s so awesome. – [Kristen] That’s pretty incredible. – Thank you to all of those businesses. That’s amazing, Kristen,
what do you think? – I’m just stunned. Like it is beautiful and I
cannot wait for the students to see it, to be inside of it. – And feel special that
people cared enough to do it. That is so important.
– Absolutely. Absolutely, it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful.
– So deserving. – Yeah, oh my gosh, all right. Well, Cameron, you have some
other people there, right? – You know what Kelly? You need to fill a class with students. Kristen, your students are here– (crowd cheering drowns out speaker) – They look so excited! – One more time for your
teacher and Brittany! – Thank you so much Cameron for the tour!