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.