Peach Elementary students get first look at outdoor equipment
Monday morning that grant money was in action as pre-K students at Peach Elementary got their first look at the new outdoor equipment that will be used to help pre-K students develop physically and hone their athletic skills.
And while it was too chilly for the students to use the equipment outside, it didn’t stop them from swinging for the fences with the new T-ball setup, soaring through the air to try to dunk a basketball or swivel their little hips to keep a Hula Hoop from hitting the ground.
If Monday’s preview was a sign of things to come, the equipment will be a big hit throughout the district.
“By us providing these types of opportunities here, I feel like it’s an added value for what we do for our community besides the education,” said Arlington ISD early childhood learning director Dr. Jackeline Orsini. “Inspiring them at this age, you never know who is going to be the next baseball player and play for the Texas Rangers. Maybe that dream started at this level.”
The students at Peach were the first to use the equipment, but they’ll soon have company. Orsini expects all the elementary schools to have the new equipment at their campuses by the middle of March.
The equipment will get plenty of use from the pre-K 3 and pre-K 4 students, too. Not only will they use it outside for recess, but it will give schools better options for field days for the little learners. After-school providers will also have access to the equipment to keep the young students engaged.
There’s also an educational twist to the equipment. At the T-ball area, which was manned by former Texas Rangers player Steve Buechele, each base also had a number on it so the students can work on their counting. That’s all part of the plan.
“In our program, we believe a lot in outdoor learning,” Orsini said. “We’re going to make sure we integrate the athletic part with the instruction. We’re going to integrate math and literacy as well.”
Members of the Rangers Baseball Foundation have been making the rounds to see the grants in use.
“Anytime you get a chance to see students utilizing the resources that they’ve been given and to see the smiles on their faces is priceless for us,” said Ray Casas, the Rangers director of community impact. “We’re so happy to be able to have that kind of impact on the community. We knew we were going to be able to impact a lot of organizations like the Arlington ISD Education Foundation.”