Pulaski Elementary School
Teacher: Valerie Williams, 8th Grade
The problem is that our cement recess blacktop is a safety hazard. There are cracks, holes, dips, rocks, soil and cement that cause children to trip and fall which causes back pain, head injuries, knee injuries, scrapes, broken/fractured bones, etc. Almost three fifth of students have complained about the safety of the cement recess blacktop and almost all have reported injuries from the blacktop on themselves or a peer. We thought that fixing the cement blacktop was a sensible and reachable goal. Our school has been pushing physical activity and has been trying to get its students outside. Fixing the cement recess blacktop could spark some excitement, which could cause them to use the new recess blacktop. Also, children wouldn’t have an excuse to be afraid of being active outside at recess.
With the approval and help of the school community (Principal Bedard, Physical Education Teacher Mr. Battin, Friends of Pulaski, and the Local School Council), we plan on improving the safety of the students at Pulaski by changing the material of our blacktop from concrete to astro-turf. The actions we will be taking are: 1. Reaching out to important people who can help and have sources we can use. 2. Calling & collecting information from a variety of companies that have the material we are considering (Also, being about to install it for us). With the information we collect, we will determine which company is best, cost-wise and quality-wise. Our funding group has come up with many ideas of fun ways to raise money for our community project. We're going to raise as much money as we can and narrow our options down to picking a material we can afford with the amount of money we have raised.
What We Did
Room 308 of Beaubien Elementary has taken multiple steps to replace our current school water fountains with newer models. The class began the project by conducting water tests, distributing an online survey about the quality of Beaubien’s water fountains, contacting different companies that were able to assist us, and researching CPS regulations for water quality restrictions. Room 308 then collected the data from the online survey and from the water testing. The information was later typed into documents and organized neatly. Another project that Room 308 has been doing off to the side is creating a water bottle policy for Beaubien Elementary. Beaubien has never had an official water bottle policy until this year. Three students from Room 308 represented the class at an LSC meeting and had the proposal that the entire class approved of signed. As of April 2013, all students at Beaubien could use water bottles.
Room 308 has had very educational and beneficial experiences while working on the ABC Project. Not only did we learn new skills about researching and drafting proposals, we also learned about communicating our ideas and asking questions. Company representatives came to our classroom and provided us with information about replacing our old water fountains with modern ones. We learned to speak efficiently and how to use new vocabulary. Some other important values we learned were patience and getting along with our peers. While doing a large project like this, we realized that the work takes a long time and compromising. Not everyone would have the same opinion on how to draft the document or how to run the water tests. We believe in doing work, and spreading it out evenly for every member to contribute to the activity.