With the closing of the Taylor County Head Start Program in fall 2016, enrollment at the Taylor County Pre-K has more than doubled. “We didn’t have enough play equipment for all of the children to play during outdoor activity time,” said Cheryl Brantley, Taylor County Pre-K Coordinator. Through a $500 stipend awarded through Nemours, a variety of portable physical activity equipment was purchased for the program.
“We have four areas on our campus for physical activity,” explained Cheryl. “We have an area in the front that we call ‘The Oaks’ that has climbers, swings, a hard-surfaced path, and a big open area. ‘The Pines’ has swings and an area for playing with balls and building blocks. We also have a sandbox area and ‘the back forty’ with swings and an open field.”
With the stipend, Cheryl was able to purchase play equipment to enhance all of the playground areas. One of the items purchased was additional tricycles that the children get to ride on the bus loop in ‘The Oaks’ area. More children get to ride the tricycles now, which cuts down on arguments. Some of the younger children have to learn how to pedal the bikes. “Parents like to come and watch their children pedal on the track,” says Cheryl. “It’s fun to watch the younger children develop their coordination on the bikes.”
Jump ropes and a variety of different sized balls were purchased as well. The teachers enjoy having the children play with the balls on the basketball court in ‘The Pines’ area, as well as in their classrooms. The sandbox area also gets more use now that there are a variety of sandbox toys to play with.
“These portable physical activity equipment has enabled our children to get more physical activity and develop their gross motor skills. I’ve noticed that the equipment is being taken care of better, as well. This has been a great boost to our program,” says Cheryl.