Recess to Destress at PS244Q, TALES
I believe there's something special about our school, the students who attend it, and the staff that make it an unbelievable environment to learn and work in.
We're a small early childhood school that believes firmly that a healthy and active body is essential for learning. Our school serves our students healthy and nutritious lunches and educate students on fitness and nutrition.
We also believe that a child's imagination should be encouraged. Walk around our school and students will show you where the Super heroes sleeps, the door to the chamber of secrets, hidden treasures, and the gate that leads to the dragons den.
The majority of our students come from families that immigrated to the United States to give their children the best opportunity to succeed. They value education very much and always want the best for their children and will work long hours to support their family. Our school is dedicated in providing the best learning environment for our students.
SO, who will you be helping and why?
Imagination. There's a word children have not heard in a long time. We're requesting an imagination playground block set for all of the students of our school to use during recess.
One of the biggest issues our students have is answering the question "What do you think?"
They freeze. Almost too hesitant to think what they actually think. They are afraid to be wrong. Using your imagination and thinking does not present a clear right or wrong answer. It's an unknown and they're afraid of it.
These modifiable block structures will allow the students of our school to think and tread in the unknown worlds of their imagination. They will learn that mistakes are meant to be made and they can learn from them!
They will take risks, learn what works and doesn't work. They will learn how to be a kid in an environment that embraces who they are, no matter what an assessment or score says. They will learn to use their imagination and use it to their advantage.
Your support will not improve a classroom. It will improve an entire school. It will allow an entire generation of kids learn to think and imagine. I strongly believe the imagination playground blocks will benefit the kids at our school greatly. The name itself says a lot. Imagination. It's something kids aren't encouraged to do anymore. They're treated as if they are adults, having so much pressure placed on them to pass tests and assessments. Help our kids be what they are, kids.
Our School Website
Through DonorsChoose.org, we were able to secure another set of blocks and expand the building area. The children love them it's a joy to watch them build, interact, and play. We're hoping to continue to expand the playground and hope you'll, once again, take part in our fundraising efforts.
Our pre-k kids were the first to test out the blocks and they are awesome! Hopefully, through more button sales and fundraising, we can add more to our playground! This is just the start.
The older kids will get their hands on these blocks after discussing the rules, safety, and cleanup procedures that will come next week!
Thank you all for your support! I'll continue to update!
Perhaps we should set our eyes on the imagination playground next?
10 months ago, I started on this journey to upgrade our school playground for all of our students. Children deserve to be children and what children do best is play. I wanted to bring in some form of creative play for our students during recess. I had to decide on which online fundraising site to go with. I have had a lot of success on DonorsChoose.org but the 4 month time limit was drawing me away. I went with GoFundMe because of the lack of time restriction.
I started this campaign with the hopes of getting an Imagination Playground block set worth over $10,000. When that goal seemed almost impossible, I searched for an alternative. I found the CommunityPlaythings outlast shed which cost $6,000.
I donated myself to kick things off. A few friends and colleagues donated. When there was a stall, I reached out to the internet community for assistance. A few generous individuals from the Offtopic forums pitched in and boosted us nearly halfway towards our goal.
With over $2,000 raised, things were looking good. The campaign would, once again, come to a period of inactivity. I received permission from our school to promote the campaign and hand flyers to families towards the end of the last school year. The letters sparked one donation from a child and her innocent message written on the envelope. It was something. It didn't make a dent on the overall goal but it did make me believe this cause was worth it.
The school year would eventually dwindle towards its end. My priorities of getting this project to the goal had dropped. Summer mode turned on. It was time to recharge and prepare for the new year. Fast forward to the beginning of this school year. With a reignited passion, I went back to working on this project. We looked to see how we can get more families involved. We looked at the letter that went home the previous year and realized one crucial error…it wasn't translated.
With the help of Ms. Anran, we were able to translated the letter into Chinese and sent them home. In addition, I put out a coin collection jar in the school office for any teachers, staff, or visitors passing by to drop their loose change. "A little change goes a long way into making big changes," was written on a sign next to this jar. Day by day, the jar grew heavier and heavier. On both occasions when the jar would be cashed in, we raised over $50.
We waited to see what the translated letter would bring…and it brought in a lot. Families were sending money in to help our efforts. In the end, we managed to collect over $1,122 from family donations. We were over the half way mark! It was still a long ways to go, but it was a great mark to hit.
I reached out to local newspapers to get the word out about our campaign. The Queens Chronicle and the Epoch Times got back to me and did a piece in their papers. This got the word out about what we were trying to do at our school and inspired some people to donate.
Again, the period of lull would hit. I debated whether or not to use the money we raised to get blocks without the shed. We needed to do something to help bring us from the halfway mark all the way to our goal. We would find that something in buttons…
Yes…buttons pins. I pitched the idea of selling buttons of our teachers to our principal. What if the TALES teachers were teams? What would their team name be and how would they be portrayed? I had an idea of what a couple of teachers would be…6 to be exact. With the help of Mr. Yuon of CAPA, we came up with the first six teachers. The teacher mascots were illustrated and we were ready to roll. Skeptical at first, the principal allowed me to create flyers and sent them home. The response to the buttons were unbelievable. Students and their families were really on board with the pins. We needed to create the rest of the teachers. Unfortunately, Yuon had moved to greener pastures. I turned to our lovely speech therapist, Tina Yeung, to help come up with the rest of the teams and illustrations. We cranked out waves of six, week by week. With buttons selling for $2 each, kids were sending in money anxiously waiting for their buttons on that same day. Week by week, we'd inch closer and close to our goal.
Things really started to pick up when a very generous parent donated $500 to the cause. I was shocked by her generosity. With this boost, I knew it was only a matter of time we'd reach our goal. There was a minor setback when I learned that CommunityPlaythings increased the Outlast Shed from $6,000 to $6,600. But with the pace we were going, I knew it would only take a week longer to raise that extra $600.
Tina worked very hard at illustrating teacher teams and I would spend a lot of time at school and home making the buttons and processing the orders. All of the hard work would pay off when we hit out goal. The money went to the school, the order has been processed for the shed, and our kids are a few weeks away from experiencing a rejuvenated playground! Now if only this snow would go away…