Kindergarten students are incredibly curious. Whenever I visit kinder classrooms you notice two things – they love to ask questions and they love to move!
Emily Max and her kindergarten students at Toomer Elementary School are no different. When Emily decided to apply for a $100,000 grant through the Farmers Insurance Dream Big Teacher Challenge contest, it was no surprise that her entry would involve – what else – movement. But Emily takes it a step further. She wants EVERYBODY, not just her kindergarten students, moving. That includes those students who have mobility issues that may keep them from joining in on all the fun activities inside and outside of the school.
Emily’s entry into the contest calls for a total remake of the playground at Toomer, located in the historic Kirkwood community. It would include a rubberized floor, ramps, lower stairs, more equipment – both large and small – and a much larger play area, all to make the playground more inclusive for not only Toomer students, but for the every child in the Kirkwood community.
She says replacing mulch with a rubberized floor and adding ramps and lower stairs will allow children in wheelchairs or who use walkers greatly improved access to the playground. Also, adding smaller equipment will give the little kids more options, as most of the current equipment is for the bigger kids. And of course, an overall larger play area means more room for more kids! Check out these video features on Emily’s dream:
Last month, Emily was notified that her entry was selected as one of 15 nationwide finalists – out of more than 3,500 applicants – for the grant. Now that she has done the hard part, it’s time for us to do ours!
Emily needs us to vote for her entry – once a day, every day – by going to this link, http://tinyurl.com/q7fwkmf, and following the instructions at the top of the page. As you will see, you have to be logged in to Facebook in order to vote. When voting ends on Oct. 31, the entry with the most votes will win the $100,000 grant. Emily expects the winning entry to be announced sometime in November.
So let’s make sure Emily, Toomer Elementary, the Kirkwood community and APS come out winners! Remember, vote once a day, every day! Let’s all #MaxtheVote!