RCES playground’s ever-improving state(s)
If you’ve ever wanted to travel across this great country, it’s never been so easy. Just take a trip to the elementary school playground! Last Saturday (March 23) a talented and spirited group of volunteers organized by RCES parent Rachel Bynum, painted a new feature on the blacktop adjacent to the school playground – a giant map of the U.S. and a compass rose, all oriented to the compass.
The 17 painting volunteers were adults Rachel Bynum, Donna Marquisee, Ann Georgia McCaffray, Juliet DelGrosso, Eric Plaksin, Nora Harrington Fletcher, Karen Sanborn, Lynnie Genho and Sarah Grenzeback; and students Anthony DelGrosso, Domenic DelGrosso, Grant Perdieu, Sam Perdieu, Nicholas Plaksin, Isaac Plaksin, Quinn Sanborn and Galen Sanborn.
Bynum was a co-chair, with Janet Davis and Patti Hottinger, of the 2011-2012 RCES playground committee. Part of the longterm plan developed by the committee included new stencils on the blacktop. Bynum planned the stencil project with support from RCES principal Cathy Jones, assistant principal Andy Hipple and the school’s Safe and Orderly team, chaired by teacher Elizabeth Seeley.
The PTO provided funding for the paints and stencils. Parent Jared Wangsgard helped select the best paints from Sherwin-Williams and get the schools a discounted rate and some donations of paints and supplies.
The giant map and compass rose are the first installments of the planned stencil design, which will also include a giant world map, a map of Rappahannock county (with cartography help from Piedmont Environmental Council’s Jonathan Marquisee), a number line and hopscotch.
The stencils are part of the playground’s “phase 2” plans, which include a memorial garden adjacent to the playground, which was designed and installed by committee co-chair Janet Davis last fall, and the future installation of a shade structure on the playground.
The goal is to make the elementary school playground an appealing, fun and interesting place for students, teachers and community members to safely learn and play.
Wakefield Country Day School seventh-grader Douglas Griffin scored well enough in the qualifying geography exam given to all Geography Bee champions to earn a trip to the state finals. There were 5,000 school winners tested and Griffin is one of only 100 students in Virginia to move on to the state competition. He will now attend the state bee at Longwood University in Farmville April 5. The state winner then goes to Washington, D.C. in late May for the National Geography Bee, where he or she competes for a $25,000 scholarship.