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January 23, 2014

New Lafayette Elementary principal, Glover, weighs in

LES raising funds for new playground

Mayo — Lafayette Elementary School (LES) has taken on a lofty mission to build a new playground on campus that will serve students in kindergarten through fifth grade. An estimated $50,000 is needed that will hopefully be completed by the beginning of the 2014-15 school year, according to the new principal this year, Danny Glover.

Glover’s overview of LES

Glover said, “I love my job and I love working over here in Mayo. We’ve tried to make some good changes at the elementary school this year. I think we’re definitely moving in the right direction.”

LES currently serves over 600 students and about 400 of them are in grades 2-5. Glover said parent involvement wasn’t where he would like it to be.

“When you get parents in the school they can see what’s going on,” he said. “A lot of times they may hear something on the street that may not be true. By getting them in the classrooms, getting them in there with the teachers, they can clear all that up and see a lot of the good things that we’re doing.”

Glover said LES has a lot of good teachers who are working very hard and getting used to a new curriculum for Common Core, which has been a challenge, but everyone has risen up to it. School staff has undertaken a regular program of Pride Nights to show off the school and bring more parents in to get involved. So far, it has been extremely successful, Glover said.

New playground project

The big project for the school is trying to raise money for new playground equipment for students in grades 2-5.

“These students have no access to a playground with any type of play structure,” said Glover.

Old wooden playground equipment that used to be in place at the school to serve students in grades 2-5 was removed in 2008 for safety concerns. Also, there are currently no play structures on campus that meet the needs of students with disabilities, which is required by law. The new planned play structure will serve up to 80 students, including those with physical disabilities, and it could possibly be relocated to the back side of the school for increased safety.

To date, $1,400 has been raised through the Fall Festival and Photos with Santa fundraisers. Future fundraiser goal projections of about $7,000 are planned from Box Tops for Education, the Spring Festival and the Play House Raffle.

Guidance Counselor Shawn Jackson has been instrumental in moving the fundraising project forward.

“This is something that’s been talked about since the other playground was torn down,” said Jackson.

“The playground that exists there is one that is limited to kids in pre-k and kindergarten,” Glover explained. “We started letting first graders use it because we thought it was safe for that.”

Jackson said they are actively searching for large donations, but are continuing with smaller ones in the mean time and counting on the PTO to help with fundraising efforts.

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