Kiwanis Club of Hastings

To genuinely provide inclusive play at Southeastern Elementary School we need more equipment! Inclusive play to Southeastern would include cooperative play, ability to accommodate multiple kids, sensory learning, with physical fitness being key.
Hastings MI is the county seat town of Barry County. Hastings is made up of 7,315 (2018) residents. There are 4 elementary schools in Hastings. Southeastern is a neighborhood school within walking distance of many students. There are 279 grade school kids (2019-2020) that attend Southeastern. In addition, Southeastern has 2 preschool programs, plus a special needs ECDD (Early Childhood Development Delay) and a Level 3 classroom (meaning students with sever cognitive, physical, and social challenges). 71% of students at Southeastern qualify for free & reduced lunches. Southeastern is our cities most under privileged school. Several of our families have experienced a multitude of traumas during their lives which brings learn challenges into the school daily. New playground equipment will help these students to strive to reach their full potential.
Many neighborhood families use the Southeastern playground outside of school hours. Southeastern is a stop for the B.Bus, a school bus that has been converted to a mobile library. There are two mini libraries, one on each side of the school that are used often. During the summer months the communities works together to provide activities for families at the playground. Southeastern is a food stop for free lunches in the summer. Out of the Hastings district, Southeastern has the largest turnout for the free summer lunch program. When families come for lunch, this is an opportunity to give them a place to hang around and enjoy some outdoor activities. Due to limited equipment, the school has started a walking club 3 years ago supported by the local Lutheran Church. They have classroom competitions with incentives for the kids. The entire school logged miles to California and back. The Lutheran Church provides walking buddies with the students as well as providing some companionship and mentor-ship. Southeastern Elementary School needs additional playground equipment to be able to provide all types of students the ability to fully utilize their learning capabilities.

Additional Information

What organizations will support this playground project?: Kiwanis Club of Hastings! Coughlin Builders will be helping with community builds. Local school district & YMCA help to maintain the grounds of the playground area. Lutheran Church supports walking club. The local Baptist Church, Thornapple Valley Church, and Presbyterian Church help with other programs at Southeastern. The school’s business partner is Hastings Fiber Glass. A local business that supports the school. Recently, Hastings Fiber Glass purchased a social emotional dog named Weasley from Paws with a Caws to help connect with the kids. Small PTO that has started the fundraising process. There have been a few small items purchased to replace very dilapidated equipment. Barry Community Foundation, Leadership Barry County, Key Club, City of Hastings/Hastings Police Department, Hastings Rotary
How will you ensure your playground is ready to be installed by Kiwanis One Day 2020?: We’re working with Carl Pietila, Recreation Consultant from Penchura, to create phases on expanding the playground. Our first phase is to address additional equipment on the lower level playground. This playground is for the younger kids and needs more climbing and spinning equipment. We have started the process of picking out the items that the kids will most enjoy. We have developed these phases to be able to tackle small sections at a time and be able to continue moving forward.
Please feel free to include additional comments about your application.: We discovered that the equipment that we currently have is Landscape equipment that we can add onto. This is great news for our team to be able to expand what we already have.