Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's Leigh Anne Tuohy Talks About The Lighthouse School
This week we traveled to Nashville to build a new structure for the Lighthouse School because they've sustained a massive amount of damage during the floods back in June. I think everybody in the country saw on different news stations part of the school floating down the river. I'm from Tennessee, born and raised, and there wasn't anyone who could have looked at that footage and not go, "Oh my gosh."
This project is a wonderful opportunity to do something that benefits a big entity versus an individual family. I think it's wonderful that we go in and help a family, but when you have the opportunity to help a large number of people it's great to just go in and seize the moment! I love seeing lots and lots of happy faces at one time.
Lighthouse School is such a great place. I loved what I read about Lighthouse off the bat and I thought this is just the kind of place I'd like to get involved with. Then when I actually physically went to the pep rally the first day to surprise the school it immediately just felt right. You could just read the expressions on everyone's face. They were all so glad we were there. They were genuine and you could tell that they were really good people. When you come across people like that, it makes you more apt to want to wow them and say, "What can I do?"
Miss Rachel was one of the school's teachers that I really bonded with during the week. She loves those children and just loves Lighthouse School. I had the opportunity to give Miss Rachel an entirely new classroom and really wanted it to be an environment where the kids can come into and feel at home. I wanted it to be friendly and warm and a place that they can really relate to. I'm thinking a farm animal theme will be really great where they will walk in and feel comfortable, but not be overwhelmed.
Since there were so many people being positively affected by this project, there were that many more people that we needed to pitch in to help us get this school completed in time. Along with the help of hundreds of community volunteers, our build team Hardaway Construction Corp and LP Building Products really led the charge in making everything possible. We can't thank them enough!
The Lighthouse School is truly a beacon of light — no pun intended. The name Lighthouse fits perfectly. This was a corner piece of property that was not very appealing to look at as you drove by and all of a sudden we came in, leveled off what was just an unattractive piece of dirt, and built this gorgeous preschool. It's bright and happy and colorful. So many people benefit from Lighthouse School and I think the little tentacles of it are going to be long reaching for many, many years to come.