Thursday, June 12, 2008

Never Do This While You're Pregnant.

A few years ago, our school was renovated and our playground equipment, blacktop, etc. was destroyed, unfortunately. So the community has really worked hard to collect funds for new playground equipment, but those sets are sooo expensive! I wondered if there was anything I could do to help.
I'd heard that there was a huge map of the USA on the blacktop that the kids really enjoyed, so I considered doing one of my own with some classes. Looking into the costs, I knew I'd have to get a grant. And, while we're at it, I figured we could go ahead and do a big world map, too!
Of course, I wrote this grant waaaay back in January before I knew I'd be pregnant. I got my grant. Paint and supplies we got with the help of Sherwin-Williams. Huge--HUGE-- map stencils from Peaceful Playgrounds. We looked at the directions and figured it would only take a day--we wanted to include all classes (450 kids!)-- but the directions said it would take 6 folks 4 hours. I worried that the maps would be done and that there'd be tears from those kids who really wanted to help.... Boy, we were wrong!
The photos you're seeing are from day 2. I forgot to take pictures day 1 because I was too hot! It was approximately 1 million degrees on the blacktop, both days-- don't worry I wore plenty of sunscreen and drank lots of water. Yes, both days. And we even had to make a second run to the paint store because we ran out of paint. Almost every single person in the building came to help with these monster sized beauties, and some classes came out for a good hour or so just to help. We had lots of parent volunteers.

Some spots were painted by adults, but nearly everything was painted by our students. Too fun!

So it's done, and both maps look awesome! I've got to take final photos of them, but I'm still recovering. Seriously, I stayed away from the paint, but I still had to tell the kids where to paint, and what color (it was a huge color-by- number). The heat, the bending down, the bending down, the heat, the clean up, the rushing around (each class got at least 1/2 hr)... somehow it all added up and wiped me out! What was most difficult was that after you laid the stencil (8 sheets that are wider than most classrooms), you connected dots to make the borders of states (easy) and countries of the world (insane Geography quiz!). My dad, my coworkers, volunteers and myself worked on those borders for nearly 2 hours... 6 people in 4 hours, right!

Now that I can walk again, and it has finally cooled off here, I'll be able to enjoy it... but now the kids are all gone! :) Hope you parents are enjoying your summer!


Chef Messy said...

Wow, looks like quite a job! Glad you had a good excuse to stay away from painting! (Of course, I'm a little painted out right now, so that's just my opinion.) Anyway, looks like everyone is having a great time. Glad you could finish your year with a bang.

Jane said...

I work at a year round school and we just got a grant to do this and other painting too this summer. Yikes! I might postpone until September when it is cooler!