Students at Monroe Elementary School in Plumwood will soon have new opportunities for creative play with out-sized blocks, tubes and rings of blue foam supplied by a private grant.
On Monday, members of the Jonathan Alder Board of Education agreed to accept a $13,200 Let’s Play Improvement Grant from drink manufacturer Dr. Pepper-Snapple and non-profit KaBOOM! KaBoom! promotes daily active play among children and families in disadvantaged areas.
The grant money will buy an “Imagination Playground In A Cart” system that can be used indoors or out.
Misty Swanger, Alder curriculum director, described the system as “building blocks” and encourages children to use their imagination in constructing everything from racetracks to houses and make-believe animals.
A press release said the innovative equipment encourages creativity, communication and collaboration in play.
Monroe serves pre-kindergarten students and those in kindergarten through fourth grade. Eighty-five percent live below Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Principal Leah Ann Childers said the new equipment will teach problem solving and cooperation in a fun way.
Also on Monday, Superintendent Gary Chapman emphasized the Alder district has a policy in place that protects students’ electronic records.
His statement was in response to an anonymous letter that said some classroom technology left student names, addresses and other confidential information open to Internet “hackers.”
However, he said teachers need more education about which devices are approved for use in the schools. That instruction will likely come during an Oct. 23 professional development day for staff, he added.
Jane Beathard is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.