Indianapolis Schools Work With Their Communities to Improve Schools

By Stacy Andell for

One Indianapolis Schools’ Elementary School Gets New Playground
Parkview Elementary School 81 will receive a new playground on October 2nd but the work has already started. An asphalt lot will be a brand new playground thanks to the Allstate Foundation and Injury Free Coalition for Kids at Riley Hospital. About 50 volunteers are expected to be involved in the project.
The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by the Allstate Corporation. The Allstate Foundation works to create safe communities. The Allstate Foundation has offered a national donation of $370,000, seven locations across the US have been chosen with Indianapolis Schools ’ Parkview Elementary School 81 being the only one in Indiana. Parkview Elementary School 81 was chosen, in part, because their recess area has for seventy five years been the asphalt lot. 
The partnership between the Allstate Foundation and Injury Free Coalition for Kids at Riley Hospital aimed to redo the playground because of the safety issues surrounding child injuries on the playground. According to the Allstate Foundation, over 200,000 children suffer from injuries on the playground.  Indianapolis Schools’ Parkview Elementary School 81’s new playground will be fun and safe. It will be covered with a new soft rubber tile known as SofTile and all equipment will have rounded edges. Safety was not the only goal; Indianapolis Schools wanted to improve access for students with special needs and make sure the equipment was durable.
Indianapolis Schools has discovered that play is important to the students’ physical, developmental, cognitive, and social development. Playgrounds are great for providing opportunities to learn about conflict resolution, sharing, and relationship building. Recess time gives students the time to release energy so they can better concentrate during study time. Playgrounds allow students to begin focusing on physical fitness and exercise. Indianapolis Schools Superintendent Eugene G. White wants all children to grow up knowing the pleasure of climbing and sliding on a playground.
The 300 students of Parkview Elementary School 81 are not the only ones to benefit from the new playground. It is estimated that 1,400 children live in the area around the school; these children will have access to the playground when the school is not in session. The Riley Hospital for Children reports that the Northeast-side Community Organization found that this area has some of the highest childhood injury rates in the city. This new playground will decrease fall injuries.
Indianapolis Schools Project Seeks Tutors
A new tutoring project for the fourth grade that is a joint program with Indianapolis Schools and the United Way of Central Indiana is looking for tutors. The project was announced on September 4th. This project aims to help students with reading and language arts skills for the fourth grade.
This project was created because thirty percent of the Indianapolis Schools fourth graders read two or more grade levels below grade. It is believed that one on one tutoring in word recognition, vocabulary development and fluency will help students achieve higher scores. The United Way has been running several similar projects in Madison, Wisconsin. The project aims to recruit at least 200 tutors who could spend one hour per week between the hours of 9:00AM and 3:30 PM at Indianapolis Schools.