The indoor playground was purchased by the district for the O. E. Gray Early Learning Center in 2001. It has been located in the Neal Wilkins gym for the past several years.
Our indoor playground offers a flexible space to work on skills like skipping, jumping, and climbing when the weather is inclement. Therapists can work with students on balance, problem solving, strength, and motor planning. Classroom teachers also enjoy using the space with students as it serves as an option for indoor recess and brainbreaks.
The library at Neal Wilkins has a special corner named "Abby's Corner" in memory of Abby Cullen, daughter of Jerry and Stephanie Cullen. Abby was a student in Mrs. LeConte's preschool class. Abby passed away on December 20, 2009, due to viral myocarditis.
Abby's love for books, reading, and for school inspired her family to create a special place in her school's library in honor of their daughter. "Abby loved to read. We have precious memories of finding her sleeping in bed at night with a stack of books by her bed, long after we had tucked her in for the night. Reading was one of her favorite things to do," recalls her mom, Stephanie. "We knew that she would have loved this special place in the library."
The space includes a wall mural painted by Mike Hadfield, a local art teacher and artist. The furniture and original books were selected and donated by the Cullen family.
"It is our hope that this space in the library will be a place where children love to be, where they can read their favorite books along with a few of Abby's favorites too," said Stephanie. "We hope that this space will be a beautiful reminder to everyone of Abby's love of reading, school, and life."
Please visit Abby's corner next time you're in the building.
Mrs. Wertel reads a new story to Kindergarten and First Step kids each week, and they also come to the library every morning to choose a new book. Mrs. Wertel read "The Scarecrow's Hat" by Ken Brown and "Big Pumpkin" by Erica Silverman to the Kindergarteners. Soon she will be starting "Turk and Runt" by Lisa Wheeler, a fun story about a family of turkeys avoiding the Thanksgiving table! The First Step boys and girls loved "Bear Feels Scared" by Karma Wilson and "A Good Day" by Kevin Henkes. Recently, she helped the kinders look for leaf shapes in "Leaf Man" by Lois Ehlert.
Mrs. Wertel does a great job sharing the love of reading with our students!