About the Problem
The kids at Barstow Elementary expressed the need for a better school. Lack of field trips, better playground equipment and cleaner overall environment to learn in.
Jenn Nelson asked her class what they saw as issues in the community. She had a discussion with the students to explore deeper into their answers. We toured the school to see what type of improvements were visibly needed.
At www.psychologytoday.com states that play is essential for a child's cognitive, social,emotional and physical development. School aged children are most affected and this carries with them throughout life. Low income children.
Around 31% of children 6-17 in low income families are less likely to play sports than 50% of those that come from higher income families and 70% of children that come from 4 times the federal poverty level.
As long as there is a lack of playground equipment there lies a problem. The last time Barstow Elementary had new equipment was
Children feel neglected, under privileged and defensive. This can lead to petty theft, acting out on the community with vandalism and lack of respect towards others around them.
People think that the low income poverty is the reason for crime in Barstow. It is looked down on as being low class. I don't think people look into what can change this but they do see it tainting the community.
Central Barstow, south of the freeway.
The 3rd grade children of Barstow Elementary, the teachers and local businesses. Our team is fully on board to bring solutions to this problem as well.
My team wanted to be able to make an impact on the children that created the list of issues that they identified. We decided to act on "update our school" and "update the play equipment." We think if we were to give the kids social activity tools such as a parachute to play games with and lanterns or balloons to write positive messages on and send them up to the sky, like making a wish at the fountain with a coin. This could bring both engagement, positive interactions, and creativity in a play environment. We also would like to have the kids be a part of choosing and designing the playground and equipment. This is an action they could own and be proud of which in turn would also instill respect for the equipment and the understanding of why we should respect other persons property. Lastly we think that a mural painted with the current students in it would be exciting for the whole school. This would also be a good time to update run down areas of the school. I would be reaching out to a friend of mine that is a general manager for Home Depot to donate supplies. I also have friends on the school board that could lead me to manufactures of play equipment so we could get catalogs for the kids to look at. We could have car washes on the weekends to get the funds to purchase what would be needed. I also have connections with local business owners that have said they would match what the kids earn. I have met some very talented artist at school myself, and they would be willing to paint the mural at no charge. This class felt as though the town needed friendlier, kinder people so if efforts are made towards them perhaps so could their outlook.