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A Playground for High-Schoolers

Wonderview High School
Hattieville, Arkansas

Wonderview High School in Hattieville, Arkansas is a small school serving less than 250 students in grades 7-12 and the elementary school (grades k-6) is located on the same campus. The elementary school has a large playground but when students transition to 7th grade there isn’t an outdoor area for them. Thanks to a Game on Grant funded by Tyson Foods, Wonderview built an activity area for grades 7-12. One teacher remarked, “This is great – it’s going to be like a high school playground!”

Dusty Beck is the facilitator of a unique class called EAST (Environmental and Spatial Technology). EAST provides students with cutting edge technology to utilize in their work. The focus, though, is not on the technology, but the unique environment EAST provides in which students work on projects to improve the community and/or school.

Dusty’s students attempted to solve the lack of a high school recreational area. Thanks to the Game On grant, Wonderview High School purchased and built a new pavilion, tables, a tetherball course, horse shoes and a volleyball court for the area. One student commented, “It is nice to have an area to go to like this for lunch instead of being inside the gym.”

Funds from the grant were also used to purchase a paint striping kit. The kit has been used to stripe the fields during the high school fun day, ‘Color Out Cancer’ run, and for other special events.

With the addition of the courtyard, the school has seen a 10% increase in student daily physical activity minutes. Teachers also use the area to conduct class and students can be rewarded with a game of horse shoes or play a game of water balloon volleyball. Overall, this area has facilitated new physical activity and students are exposed to fun activities that may become a lifelong hobby.

Wonderview High School plans to add more in the future as Principal Jason Reynolds is very excited and committed to the courtyard. After seeing the improvements, he remarked, “We want to do this right. I can give extra money for new tables and activities to make this area even better.”