School: FOCUS Program, Des Moines, IA
Teacher: Mrs. Simons, 3rd - 5th Grade Teacher
Project: Supply students with games and equipment so that they have activities to play at recess.
Mrs. Simons teaches a special program in a urban school district. The students in the program struggle with mental health issues that interfere with their progress in a comprehensive school setting. Her students are eager to learn academics, but also need to put Social Emotional Learning practices into place to allow them to be as successful as possible in school.
All students need a break during the school day. The FOCUS program recently was moved to a different building, and has no playground. All students need recess to help burn off steam and give them a break from the hard work they put forth learning each day. Without a playground or outdoor games, the students do not look forward to their recess. Soccer balls and Soccer Goals will give an option for several students to play together. Outdoor Jenga, Ladder Ball game, Ring Toss, Bocci Ball, and the different sports balls will give a variety of choices so that everyone can find something that they enjoy doing each day. These supplies will also give the option to set up an indoor recess if the weather does not allow the students to be outside.
EmpireCovers decided to fully fund Mrs. Simon’s project to help bring some fun to recess. We know that physical education and breaks from academics are important to students' mental health and success in the classroom. Mrs. Simon's wrote back after receiving her donation and said,
I want to thank you for helping fund this project! As I mentioned when I first published the project, our program does not have a playground for our students at our new location. This makes recess very tricky to keep everyone playing and using appropriate social skills. With your donations, we were able to purchase a variety of games that can be used indoors or outdoors to help give variety to our recess time.
Giant Jenga was a HUGE hit! The first time we got this out was at our end-of-the-year Track and Field day (which had to be held indoors due to weather). My students were able to build such a high tower. It was amazing to watch them have so much fun. We were able to set this up on a carpet square in a classroom.
We were able to set up other stations in the gym. The students played horseshoes, yard darts, ladder ball, and yard dice. Everyone was able to get along and wait patiently for their turn.
The soccer goals have also been very popular! This allows us to have a larger group of kids playing together. Again, it is so fun to watch them play in an organized, structured way together.
Once again, I can not express enough gratitude for the funding of this project. These kids truly NEED recess and with this funded project, I can give them the recess that they deserve!!
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