Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
School Climate & Safety

Take Note

December 05, 2001 1 min read

No Place to Play

The cratered surface of what used to be Quitman County Elementary School’s playground looks more like a battlefield than a schoolyard.

At the back of the 4-acre lot lie the twisted metal guts of old swing sets and slides. Bordered by the Mississippi county’s public cemetery and a glass- splintered dirt lot used for school parking, it’s a depressing image, but one that two determined teachers plan to change.

“It’s like looking at old bones,” said Emily Williams, a former kindergarten teacher at the 650-student school and a co-founder of the Playground Fund. She and 8th grade teacher Raylene Kaufman established the fund this past July and hope to raise at least $15,000 to buy new playground equipment.

Located in the northwestern region of Mississippi known as the Delta, the school is the second-poorest in the state. Its playground, which fell prey to a lack of money, was closed five years ago after a student was injured on the aging equipment.

Then National Public Radio came to Mississippi to do a report on schools’ needs. When the broadcast aired, the school with no playground began receiving concerned e- mails from across the country.

“It was just mentioned as a side note, but people were literally outraged that the school didn’t have a playground,” Ms. Williams said. “All the teachers had been discussing the playground and hopes of restoring it for some time, but it’s not exactly an educational priority in a school that needs so much.”

Ms. Williams first came to the school under the Teach For America program, a national corps of recent college graduates who commit two years to teach in needy communities.

“People don’t realize just how powerful and tangible a symbol a playground can be,” Ms. Williams said.

The fund has received just $600, but Ms. Williams is hoping for a lot more, especially since Viget Labs, an Internet-technologies company in Arlington, Va., created a Web site, www.playgroundfund.

—Marianne Hurst

A version of this article appeared in the December 05, 2001 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Learn directly from the pros why K-12 branding and marketing matters, and how to do it effectively.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

BASE Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Director of Information Technology
Montpelier, Vermont
Washington Central UUSD
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools
Director of Athletics
Farmington, Connecticut
Farmington Public Schools

Read Next

School Climate & Safety Opinion Teaching's 'New Normal'? There's Nothing Normal About the Constant Threat of Death
As the bizarre becomes ordinary, don't forget what's at stake for America's teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic, writes Justin Minkel.
4 min read
14Minkel IMG
Gremlin/E+
School Climate & Safety Letter to the Editor Invisibility to Inclusivity for LGBTQ Students
To the Editor:
I read with interest “The Essential Traits of a Positive School Climate” (Special Report: “Getting School Climate Right: A Guide for Principals,” Oct. 14, 2020). The EdWeek Research Center survey of principals and teachers provides interesting insight as to why there are still school climate issues for LGBTQ students.
1 min read
School Climate & Safety As Election 2020 Grinds On, Young Voters Stay Hooked
In states like Georgia, the push to empower the youth vote comes to fruition at a time when “every vote counts” is more than just a slogan.
6 min read
Young people celebrate the presidential election results in Atlanta. Early data on the 2020 turnout show a spike in youth voting, with Georgia, which faces a pair of senatorial runoffs, an epicenter of that trend.
Young people celebrate the presidential election results in Atlanta. Early data on the 2020 turnout show a spike in youth voting, with Georgia, which faces a pair of senatorial runoffs, an epicenter of that trend.
Brynn Anderson/AP
School Climate & Safety Opinion The Pandemic Is Raging. Here's How to Support Your Grieving Students
What do students who have experienced a loss need in the classroom? Brittany R. Collins digs into the science.
Brittany R. Collins
5 min read
13Collins IMG
Benjavisa Ruangvaree/iStock