Thanks to a collaboration between the staff and families at Stone Hill Elementary School, there is a lot more for students to do during recess time each day. What was formerly a drab outdoor play space is now inviting and exciting for students.
“I had observed that there was not much to do outside at recess,” said Principal Tricia Totolo. “I started to think about how to make more productive play time for the students, to let them play more with each other instead of just running around aimlessly, and to possibly have less injuries from falls on the blacktop.”
Totolo asked the school department if there was anything they could do to help the outdoor situation and they offered to seal-coat the space, making it look new again. They also provided brushes, rollers and paints, which could be used to create bright game spaces on the blacktop.
“We connected with a few families who were able to get us some donations such as paint from The Color House, and able to spearhead an organized a clean-up and painting event for Saturday, October 7,” she said.
On that day, Totolo was pleased to see both staff and families arriving throughout the day, spending as much time as they could, helping out with the clean-up and the painting.
“It was a group effort, our community really came together,” Totolo said. “They were able to paint Four Square, Hopscotch, a beanbag toss, foul lines for basketball, and a track made out of footprints for a walking. It gives the kids a chance to gravitate to areas of interest to them, and to make better use of their outdoor time. We still have an open area for jumping rope, using hula hoops and we were able to purchase some outdoor equipment.”
The area is now bright, colorful and inviting, and Totolo said it really caught the students’ eyes and piqued their interest on the first day back to school last week. She is thankful to all who gave their time and energy over the long weekend.
“The kids love it,” she said. “It was definitely such a community effort. Our vision could not have been executed without all of those people coming together to make it happen.”