Project Works To Spark The Imagination

Volunteers work to paint games and more on the cement areas of the Oskaloosa Elementary playground this past week.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Off in the distance, a summer storm was rumbling its way past Oskaloosa.

On the concrete areas of the playgrounds at Oskaloosa Elementary School, volunteers worked on painting activities to help inspire play when the rest of the playground is too wet to enjoy.

Mary Hersom was leading the efforts, coordinating volunteers and making sure supplies were on hand.

One the cement, there was now three lanes of track that will soon have a map of the United States painted within it.

Also inside the track area is a painted butterfly, in honor of Nicholas Moore, for playing hopscotch.

Matt Moore, Nicholas Moore‘s father, made a donation in honor of his son, to help make the project possible.

Nicholas was diagnosed with Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (RDEB), a terminal skin disease, when he was born. It is said that individuals suffering from RDEB, their skin is as delicate as a butterfly’s wings.

One of Nicholas’s biggest joys in his life was being able to attend Oskaloosa Elementary School, through the fourth grade. Nicholas would have been a senior this past year.

There is a daisy that is also for playing hopscotch, and a game called snakes and ladders, which will be over 100 painted boxes.

The basketball courts are also being painted in, while a couple of spots for foursquare are being created. “I’m hoping this will grow. We can only do so much this year.”

Things learned along the way include finding out that it took far more paint then they had imagined. There are two more orders for paint already.

The PTO also donated to the project, and so far nearly $2000.00 has been awarded to make it happen.

Next year will probably see touching up spots that the Iowa winter has damaged.

Hersom believes that activities like the sensory path that was recently done inside of the elementary will help keep kids occupied, especially through those long winter days when it’s difficult to go outside. Things like the sensory path also help to deescalate. “It helps kids get refocused. When you’ve been sitting your brain starts to get a little lax or tired, so if you go and do sensory path, it gets you back and recharged.”

Like the sensory path indoors, the outside games that have been painted on the cement will help students refocus and recharge their minds as they go back to class.

Hersom thanked all the volunteers and teachers for their help. “Teachers that are out here have so much to do in their room, and yet they know how important it is for us to do this for kids, so I appreciate their time.”

Hersom added that the games being painted on the playground also benefit the community when families use the playgrounds on nights and weekends. “There’s a lot of people that use our playgrounds, and so it benefits everybody.”

Posted by on Aug 10 2019. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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