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One School at a Time: Martin’s awards Concord West Side Elementary grant for recess equipment

Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 6:22 PM EST
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - Flexible, yet focused. That’s how you can describe area school districts as they deal with changes brought on by the coronavirus.

With safety in mind, many school systems have spent a lot of money to prevent the spread of illness.

At Concord West Side Elementary in Elkhart, help arrived in the form of a One School at a Time Grant, worth $1,000 from Martin’s Super Markets.

On Nov. 30, the school returned to hybrid learning, with students coming back to the classroom on different days to limit the amount of kids in the building.

Among the highlights of returning to school? Recess time!

“It’s the best place to learn and to grow and to build those friendships,” said Concord kindergarten teacher Faith Aukerman. “Playtime is so important. They work so hard in the classroom and they have a very rigorous curriculum they are trying to get in they are learning that they need that release.”

They also need to stay safe. In order to limit potential exposure to coronavirus, the kids are kept off the playground sets.

“We have the kids set up in cohort groups, or classrooms, so they’re in specific zones, and they just need more equipment,” said Concord West Side Principal Gerry Donlon.

“So before we had a wide recess cart, that would come out at recess, and then children could choose toys off of the cart,” Aukerman said. “Since COVID, each class has a recess basket. All the things in that basket are things that they can use for recess, but they can’t share between classrooms. So it’s going to be really nice to have that money for the extra recess equipment so they can have that in their own cart for each classroom.”

The Martin’s grant will be used to pay for those extra recess items.

“It’s so important because with COVID right now, we’re making sure we have a lot of precautions and restrictions. So, it’s really exciting that we’re going to have a lot of extra recess equipment,” Aukerman said.

Teachers say the kids are doing great at wearing masks and following rules. They’re resilient and smart.

“They are very good at making sure that they are safe and keeping distance and making sure we are keeping healthy at school,” said Aukerman.

If you want to nominate your school for a Martin’s One School at a Time Grant, click here for the entry form. Each month one school in our area will be selected to win $1,000 for their project.

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