Principals to Build Inclusive Playground at Seattle School

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One-hundred principals partner with Landscape Structures to erect an inclusive playground for students of all abilities at Hawthorne Elementary School

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One-hundred principals will create an inclusive playground space at Hawthorne Elementary School that meets the needs of all children, allowing equality and access for all.

Elementary and middle school principals from around the nation will put in sweat equity to build an inclusive playground on Wed., March 21, at a Seattle elementary school during the National Association of Elementary School Principals’ (NAESP) fourth annual Community Service Day. One-hundred principals from around the nation will partner with some of their Seattle colleagues to create a playground space that meets the needs of all children, in the same space, and in a variety of ways. The service day will occur as a part of the Association’s annual conference, which is being held March 22-24 at the Washington State Convention Center. The Community Service Day is sponsored by NAESP and corporate playground-equipment partner Landscape Structures.

Hawthorne Elementary School is a Title I school located in the Columbia City neighborhood in Seattle. Of the school’s student population, 79 percent receive free or reduced-price lunch, 32 percent are English-language learners, and 15 percent receive special education. The school features a Spectrum Program, which supports highly capable students, and a program that immerses art with technology.

Sandra Scott, principal of Hawthorne, believes that an inclusive playground will be invaluable to her campus. Scott said she is hopeful that the playground donated by Landscape Structures will establish an inclusive environment outside the school building equal to Hawthorne’s existing systems to include students with special needs. The new playground will “allow equality and access for all students, which is what we’re all about,” Scott said.

What: 100 K-8 principals from around the nation will volunteer at a Seattle elementary school, installing an inclusive playground.

Where: The community service project will take place at Hawthorne Elementary School (4100 39th Ave. South, Seattle, WA 98118).

When: Wednesday, March 21, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

How: To cover this event and to interview principals, contact Kaylen Tucker (ktucker(at)naesp(dot)org or 703-518-6257).

NAESP’s Best Practices for Better Schools annual conference, which is being held March 22-24 at Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center, strives to provide principals with knowledge and experiences that will enrich them as education leaders and help them find new and innovative ways to lead students. In addition to the community service project, other convention highlights include the NAESP Bullying Town Hall meeting, dynamic addresses by outspoken advocate for public schools, Diane Ravitch, and America’s most inspiring teacher, Rafe Esquith; and insight by education experts such as Charlotte Danielson, Richard DuFour and Rebecca DuFour, Yong Zhao, Jawanza Kunjufu, and Douglas Reeves. More information about the keynote speakers and convention activities can be found at NAESP’s conference website.

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Established in 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) serves elementary and middle school principals in the United States, Canada, and overseas. NAESP leads in the advocacy and support for elementary and middle-level principals and other education leaders in their commitment to all children.

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