Thanks to grants from a local charitable foundation, two programs in the Washougal School District will reap the benefits.
The Norman C. Danielson Foundation has approved two grants, $1,500 towards the construction of a preschool playground at Hathaway Elementary and $2,000 for a portable greenhouse at Excelsior High School.
“Getting the grant made this playground project possible,” said Lisa Young, early learning technician with Washougal Community Education. “The Washougal School District is funded for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. We don’t receive state funding for our preschool program.”
Young partnered with Educational Opportunities for Children and Families, which houses a Head Start program at the site, as well as the foundation, to get the project funded. Each group is paying approximately one-third of the cost. The playground will include both asphalt and bark dust areas, plastic play equipment, sensory tables and tricycles. It will also be open to the community on the weekends.
Young is hoping to have planter boxes installed, so that the students learn about gardening.
“I’m hoping someone will want to do this as a part of their senior project,” she said.
Hathaway Elementary, where the preschool program is housed, includes a playground, intended for use by children ages 5 to 12.
“We needed something for the 3- to 5-year-olds,” Young said. “More than 50 children will be using it, so it really serves a useful purpose. The students will really benefit from this. We’re grateful for the funding and the Danielson Foundation is really proactive about helping out in our community.”
The greenhouse at Excelsior High School will allow students to see the full growth of the crops they plant every year. In 2010, students and a local master gardener transformed the south side of the school to include 10 raised garden beds. The food that students grow in the gardens is donated to the local food banks and students in need.