3 ways to bring more joy into your school

What brings you joy? It could be a favorite movie or song, family and friends, or travel. It could also be something you don’t even notice, like the paint color in your office, or art on the wall, or a round paperweight on your desk.

Studies have shown our surroundings can have a significant effect on our levels of joy. Learning environments are no different.

A Global Youth Survey showed that 61 percent of students are most concerned with improving their physical learning environment. And research suggests that the physical environment can significantly affect student achievement.

But there are some easy ways to start bringing joy into your schools. According to designer and writer Ingrid Fetell Lee, joy can be created through design by using color and shapes, and creating a feeling of abundance.

Here are three ways you can add joy into your school.

1. Add color 

In a 2004 study on the relationship between color and emotion, researchers at the University of Georgia found that different colors affect mood in different ways.

  • Green is associated with relaxation and calmness, followed by happiness, comfort, peace, hope and excitement.
  • Yellow is generally said to be lively and energetic, eliciting positive emotions associated with the sun and summertime.
  • Gray is associated with negative emotions, including sadness, depression, boredom, confusion, tiredness, loneliness, anger and fear.

Don’t be scared of adding a little color to your hallways and classrooms. You could do that by repainting the walls or in smaller ways, using colorful furniture, window dressing or rugs.

Landscape image of an empty classroom.

Or get students involved by having them work together to paint a mural in the hallway.

“One colorful mural can transform a barren hallway or entrance into a vibrant and joyful sight,” educator Steven Wolk wrote in a 2008 edition of Educational Leadership.

2. Round it out

Shapes can also affect our mood. Neuroscientists have found that the parts of the brain responsible for anxiety light up when people see angular objects, but not when they see circular objects.

In her TED Talk, Lee describes how, after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, architects incorporated curves into the design of the building to create a safe-feeling environment for the children who returned to the school. The slightly curved entrance was purposefully made in order to give students a welcoming feel as they approached.

Redesigning your entire entryway may not be feasible now, but you can incorporate curves into your school with pictures of balloons and ice cream cones on the wall, or by adding circular stools and furniture.

And don’t forget about your landscaping. Circle-shaped bushes, anyone?

3. Take it outside

We already know great landscaping goes a long way in making a good first impression, but planting flowers and keeping your lawns pretty can also affect student and faculty emotions in a positive way.

Lawns enhance the quality of life and contribute to social harmony and community pride, according to The Lawn Institute.

And don’t be scared to take the classroom outside. According to The Guardian, “Outdoor learning can make for happier, healthier, well-rounded students – particularly for those with special educational needs.”

Given to Emily by ssc in May 2014

Let’s make school environments more fun and vibrant – and joyful.


Want to learn more about how SSC works to create joyful learning environments? Get in touch with us today.

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SSC Services for Education Grounds Department Honored Alongside Award Winning West Texas A&M University

Press Release

Professional Grounds Management Society presents 2018 Green Star Honor Award

Canyon, TX (October 2018) – The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) recognized West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas with an Honor Award in the Society’s 2018 Green Star Awards® competition. The award was given in the University and College Grounds category for exceptional grounds maintenance. Winners were honored during the Society’s 2018 Awards Dinner held Oct. 18 in conjunction with the School of Grounds Management & GIE+EXPO in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 16-19.

In the arid climate that is the panhandle of Texas, the SSC Services for Education West Texas A&M Grounds Department diligently maintains the campus that has earned the nickname “Oasis on the Plains.”  From the annual planting of trees and to the daily challenges of maintaining 176 acres that see 60 degree temperature fluctuations in a single day, the team stands apart in their dedication to the beautification of the campus and community and their passion for upholding West Texas A&M University as a diverse and inclusive student-center community of learners.

The Green Star Awards program brings national recognition to grounds maintained with a high degree of excellence, complimenting other national landscape award programs that recognize outstanding landscape design and construction. Grand, Honor and Merit Awards are offered in 19 categories. The judging criteria are: overall aesthetics, staff professionalism, response to grounds related challenges, sustainable practices, and safety.  Additionally, SSC Services for Education accounts were recognized with the 2018 PGMS Green Star Grand Award at Tarleton State University and the Honor Award at Prairie View A&M University.

About SSC Services for Education

SSC Service for Education based in Knoxville, Tennessee provides customized facility solutions to over 130 educational clients in 24 states.  Our 9000+ employees partner with these educational institutions to further the success and well-being of students, staff, and faculty by delivering quality facilities programs – custodial, grounds, and maintenance. As a trusted and specialized provider, we are committed to enhancing educational settings and creating financial guarantees that can be reallocated into key areas of West Texas A&M University’s academic mission. With SSC, students and staff flourish in improved surroundings, while you focus on your core objective: educating our future.  http://sscserv.com/ 

SSC Services for Education Grounds Department Honored Alongside Award Winning Tarleton State University

Press Release

Professional Grounds Management Society presents 2018 Green Star Grand Award

Stephenville, TX (October 2018) – The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) recognized Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas with a Grand Award in the Society’s 2018 Green Star Awards® competition. The award was given in the University and College Grounds category for exceptional grounds maintenance. Winners were honored during the Society’s 2018 Awards Dinner held Oct. 18 in conjunction with the School of Grounds Management & GIE+EXPO in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 16-19.

From the Trogdon House at center of campus which students helped construct in 1923, to the Tarleton Iris bread by J.V Laird to perfectly showcase Tarleton State University’s colors, to the daily challenges of maintaining 180 acres that contain over 5000 Knockout Roses, the SSC Services for Education Tarleton State University Grounds Department stands apart in their dedication to the beautification of the campus and community, honoring its history and tradition, and partnering in their passion for Tarleton State University’s mission to develop moral and ethical thinkers, scholars, and leaders who demonstrate civility and integrity, while contributing meaningfully and responsibly to a global society.

The Green Star Awards program brings national recognition to grounds maintained with a high degree of excellence, complimenting other national landscape award programs that recognize outstanding landscape design and construction. Grand, Honor and Merit Awards are offered in 15 categories. The judging criteria are: overall aesthetics, staff professionalism, response to grounds related challenges, sustainable practices, and safety. Additionally, SSC Services for Education accounts were recognized with the PGMS Green Star Honor Award at Prairie View A&M University and West Texas A&M University.

About SSC Services for Education SSC Service for Education based in Knoxville, Tennessee provides customized facility solutions to over 130 educational clients in 24 states.  Our 9000+ employees partner with these educational institutions to further the success and well-being of students, staff, and faculty by delivering quality facilities programs – custodial, grounds, and maintenance. As a trusted and specialized provider, we are committed to enhancing educational settings and creating financial guarantees that can be reallocated into key areas of Tarleton State University’s academic mission. With SSC, students and staff flourish in improved surroundings, while you focus on your core objective: educating our future.  http://sscserv.com/ 

Media Contact:

Catherine Merritt
Communications, SSC Services for Education
(865) 673-4372
catherine.merritt@compass-usa.com

SSC Services for Education Grounds Department Honored Alongside Award Winning Prairie View A&M University

Press Release

Professional Grounds Management Society presents 2018 Green Star Honor Award

Prairie View, TX (October 2018) – The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) recognized Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas with an Honor Award in the Society’s 2018 Green Star Awards® competition. The award was given in the University and College Grounds category for exceptional grounds maintenance. Winners were honored during the Society’s 2018 Awards Dinner held Oct. 18 in conjunction with the School of Grounds Management & GIE+EXPO in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 16-19. Prairie View A&M University is the first HBCU to receive the Honor Award.

From working with 20 student organizations that have dedicated trees, to installing new irrigation systems to optimize water usage, to beautification and restoration of constructions sites at an ever expanding university, the SSC Services for Education Prairie View A&M Grounds Department diligently strives to uphold the Prairie View A&M University values of: access and quality, accountability, diversity, leadership, relevance, and social responsibility.

The Green Star Awards program brings national recognition to grounds maintained with a high degree of excellence, complimenting other national landscape award programs that recognize outstanding landscape design and construction. Grand, Honor and Merit Awards are offered in 15 categories. The judging criteria are: overall aesthetics, staff professionalism, response to grounds related challenges, sustainable practices, and safety.  Additionally, SSC Services for Education accounts were recognized with the PGMS Green Star Grand Award at Tarleton State University and the Honor Award at West Texas A&M University.

About SSC Services for Education

SSC Service for Education based in Knoxville, Tennessee provides customized facility solutions to over 130 educational clients in 24 states.  Our 9000+ employees partner with these educational institutions to further the success and well-being of students, staff, and faculty by delivering quality facilities programs – custodial, grounds, and maintenance. As a trusted and specialized provider, we are committed to enhancing educational settings and creating financial guarantees that can be reallocated into key areas of Prairie View A&M University’s academic mission. With SSC, students and staff flourish in improved surroundings, while you focus on your core objective: educating our future.  http://sscserv.com/ 

Media Contact:

Catherine Merritt
Communications, SSC Services for Education
(865) 673-4372
catherine.merritt@compass-usa.com