How Energy Savings Brought SMALLab To Disadvantaged Students

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Moulton-Branch Elementary School, part of Lowndes County Schools in Georgia, is a Title I institution, it is the second poorest school in a county of 110,000 residents that spans more than 500 square miles. One hundred percent of students receive free or reduced-cost lunches. It is located in Valdosta, GA, 20 miles north of the Florida state line.


Serving over 600 students in grades Pre-K through 5th, Principal Dr. Debra Brantley strives to push a culture centered around student engagement and the motivation to learn.

“Six years is a long time for students to spend in the classroom here if they neither enjoy school nor are successful in it,” says Brantley. “But if we can give students an intrinsic motivation to succeed, it goes a long way toward keeping them in school and involved in positive activities.”

To do so, Moulton-Branch has extensive after-school activities including ESL and Math Club, but tech-driven solutions often remained out of reach due to cost. In particular, both teachers and administrators wanted to install SMALLab but did not believe they had the financial resources necessary to do so.



Moulton-Branch Elementary School is part of Lowndes County School District, which partnered with ABM to improve the efficiency of its facilities and save taxpayer dollars which can then be applied to education. Through this unique partnership, ABM identified and implemented ways to improve the school’s energy efficiency and environmental friendliness.

As a mission-driven company, ABM understands the importance of preparing students for success in life. That’s why they work around our scheduling and instructional needs. They do a lot of their work after school, making sure they don’t interrupt our educational activities. They’re very cognizant of that, and it’s been greatly appreciated.
— Angel Weeks, EIP Teacher

It was through this partnership that Moulton-Branch Elementary was able to have the funds for the installation of its SMALLab.

At ABM, we work hard to save schools and taxpayers money with energy efficiencies, we also care about students and improving learning outcomes. That’s why we have worked with SMALLab to bring this innovative solution to Moulton-Branch.
— Joel Lowery, Vice President Bundled Energy Solutions


With SMALLab, Mouton-Branch now has a highly engaging learning environment to offer to students. In fact, Early Intervention Program (EIP) teacher Diane Shardron is quick to point that even if students are not active on the SMALLab mat, they actively participate by cheering on their classmates and mentoring other students.

Students really love the SMALLab. It’s exciting to observe them there because they’re all involved. It builds teamwork, cooperation, and problem-solving skills.
— Diane Shadron, Early Intervention Program Teacher

Media Specialist Alisande Mayer adds that Moulton-Branch Elementary, and Lowndes County School District overall, must meet specific performance metrics measured via students’ standardized test scores.

What we like most about SMALLab is that activities are standards-aligned. We don’t have to choose between providing students with a learning environment that is fun and engaging… or preparing them to meet specific standards in math and language arts. SMALLab checks both of these boxes, making it great for students, teachers, and our district.
— Alisande Mayer, Media Specialist

A Winning Partnership for All

When Dr. Brantley talks about the success SMALLab has brought to Moulton-Branch Elementary, ABM, fast becomes the topic of discussion. “At the end of the day, Lowndes County Public Schools relies primarily on tax dollars to fund its operating budget, so being in a poorer region of the state means that every dollar matters.”

Through the help of ABM, Moulton-Branch Elementary saves energy as a result of newly-installed features such as motion-triggered lights, low-energy LED bulbs, new door sweeps, and more. Best of all, ABM guarantees its projected savings and fronts those dollars to help schools like Moulton-Branch get SMALLab.

“It’s been an awesome experience to work with ABM and SMALLab,” says Dr. Brantley. “I don’t have anything but positive things to say about it.”

About SMALLab

Imagine a place in your school where your students are smiling and deeply engaged in learning because they are using their entire bodies and collaborating as they learn. This is SMALLab. This is engaged learning in the Age of Distraction. SMALLab Learning improves student achievement by up to 86%, improves student engagement by nearly 7X, and improves teacher effectiveness by up to 33%. SMALLab research and development was conducted at Arizona State University and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Science Foundation, Intel, and many others. Join our community and help transform learning for your students.

About ABM

ABM (NYSE:ABM) is a leading provider of facility solutions with revenues of approximately $6.4 billion and approximately 140,000 employees in 350+ offices throughout the United States and various international locations. ABM's comprehensive capabilities include janitorial, electrical & lighting, energy solutions, facilities engineering, HVAC & mechanical, landscape & turf, mission critical solutions and parking, provided through stand-alone or integrated solutions. ABM provides custom facility solutions in urban, suburban and rural areas to properties of all sizes - from schools and commercial buildings to hospitals, data centers, manufacturing plants and airports. ABM Industries Incorporated, which operates through its subsidiaries, was founded in 1909. For more information, visit