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Ruediger Elementary Pre-K/ESE Playground

Reaching Every student – All day, Every day, every way.

Ruediger Elementary is a title 1 school. While other schools in the district can update their playgrounds with money from fundraisers, Title 1 schools struggle in this area. Playground equipment is a large expense and without fundraising our school, unfortunately, cannot meet this need. Our early childhood students and ESE students benefit from instruction in social skills and the ability to practice these skills in a safe environment. Our playground time means more than recess. It is a chance to teach our students how to play and how to interact with each other. Developmental play is incredibly important for these students. We practice taking turns, sharing, imaginative play and acceptance. With new equipment, we can continue to encourage growth and this will benefit the students for years to come.

At the schools in the district that have a strong PTO and high participation in fundraisers, you can see where that money goes. Title 1 schools do not have that option. Our school is funded only by the allotted money from the state and/or district. This means we do not have extra funds to update and fix the pre-K/ESE playground. Throughout the years we have done small fixes, broken boards, a broken sandbox and wood rot to ensure that the students are safe. We have never been able to update the playground with a new play structure. Unfortunately, play structures are extremely expensive and as a Title 1 school, that is not in our budget. With $25,000 we would be able to find a new play structure for the students that can accommodate the age range of students we serve as well as students with disabilities. Our students would also benefit from a swing that accommodates a wheelchair. This playground serves so many students in the community and we want to be able to meet all their needs.

Investing in a commercial, updated playground will last for years. Students from the community, with varying exceptionalities and skills will be able to use this playground for years to come. Newer playgrounds can last 10-20 years without being replaced. While the students may only use this playground for a few years of their lives, the skills we will be able to teach will last them a lifetime. They will learn social skills in a safe and fun environment that will benefit them throughout their entire lives.