‘The field of love’ inspires Sparta students to do good

Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 4:53 PM EST
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SPARTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Marvin E. Lewis Elementary School had some of the lowest test scores in the state.

However, their new principal Anton Anthony is trying to transform the school and his students’ grades by sharing a little love.

Anthony believes this is his purpose.

“This is a spiritual mission for me, just to love on every person who walks through these doors. It’s like my assignment,” he said.

He moved to Sparta over the summer to a county where no one knew him so he could take a job at an underperforming school.

But Anthony dreamt about what this school could become.

“They remember who loves them, and I want students to understand that it doesn’t matter what happens outside of school, but when they come inside of school, this is a safe place, this is a loving place,” he said.

This place is now “the field of love”, and this isn’t just for Valentine’s Day. All years, students have been earning hearts for good behavior. They turn those hearts into rewards.

Anthony says he’s spent thousands of dollars of his own money to get them.

“It doesn’t matter that we can’t get people in here to give us anything, no money, or any. I’m gonna make sure it happens for them without excuses, because of love,” he said.

He says this approach is making a difference in the classroom.

“It’s showing, it’s showing in our i-Excel data, it’s showing in our i-Ready stuff that we’re doing, it’s showing in our attendance,” said Anthony.

He believes love is the reason why. When students want to come to school, Anthony says the school becomes better.

“This is gonna be the difference maker. We do believe that,” he said.

Anthony says he bought a snow cone machine, cotton candy machine, snacks, and more so students would have rewards to look forward to.