Students and staff members at Waterloo Elementary School are staying on track — literally — in a project designed to benefit the whole community.
The school is planning to install a running track around the perimeter of its playground. When school is out and students are not using it, the track will be open to members of the community, said Principal Nichole Veit.
The project began in 2013, when a group of teachers attended a conference on project-based learning in New Orleans.
“We wanted to work on a project together as a school,” Veit said. “We asked the students what would be something that they could create that would improve the school.”
Classes brainstormed ideas and, after narrowing the list to five finalists, the students selected the track as the project they would like to pursue, Veit explained.
At the same time, teachers tied the track project into their lessons. Kindergartners studied healthy foods, and first-graders focused on healthy lifestyles. Grades 2 and 3 focused on exercise and wellness, while grades 4 and 5 looked into materials from which the track could be made.
Students listened to proposals from companies specializing in asphalt, concrete and soil, said fifth-grader Mitch Snyder. Ultimately, the students selected asphalt as the material for the track, because it is smooth and has a surface that is accessible to everyone, said fifth-grader Anna Wagner.
“Now we had a goal — we needed the money,” Veit said.
This year the school is focusing on raising the money required to complete the project and have the track become a reality.
Fifth-grader Kyle Toyias explained the students have participated in two read-a-thons and have raised a total of $2,500. That, coupled with a PTO donation, boosted funds to $4,500. The community also has donated an additional $750, Veit said. The goal is to reach $9,600.
The school welcomes donations, which may be dropped off at the school office or mailed to 300 E. Douglas St., Waterloo, IN 46793.
Fourth-grader Yasmine Ogbe said the school hopes to have the track completed in time for its Wildcat Showcase at the end of the school year.
Veit invites anyone with questions about the project to contact her at 920-1016.
Article from The Star
Written by Kathryn Bassett
Waterloo News >