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From Rooftop to Recess

Amanda E. Stout Elementary School
Reading, Pennsylvania

Before Amanda E. Stout Elementary School received a 2018-2019 Game On grant, the students had limited space to run and play. Located downtown in the city of Reading, Pennsylvania, the K-5 students spent their outdoor recess time on the urban school’s barren rooftop. With the support of Action for Healthy Kids, a partnership between the school and The Food Trust, and a determined school administration, their rooftop was turned into a recess oasis!

To help their students meet the recommended amount of daily physical activity (60 minutes), the school health team recognized that they needed to provide kids with engaging and interactive play equipment to use during daily recess. They filled their once empty rooftop with freestanding physical activity equipment, including monkey bars and a balance beam, and items to play with, including brightly colored hula hoops, crawl tunnels and hopper balls. Students were even involved in cleaning and preparing the area so they would take pride in their new play deck. With all their new equipment, they created physical activity stations for students to have fun and test out to see which activities they like best. The formerly blank rooftop was now full of bright, engaging opportunities for students to play, run, and get all of their energy out before heading back to the classroom.

But their new play deck doesn’t stop there. In addition to being a rejuvenated space for play and physical activity, the play deck is a place for students to practice their yoga and plant and harvest fruits and vegetables in the newly installed garden beds.

“This was an amazing grant opportunity for Amanda E. Stout elementary. It was great to see how the administration took initiative and supported the healthy changes at the school. Throughout the school year, I was able to see firsthand the impact of the grant on students, teachers, and the school community,” said Zachary Hunter with The Food Trust and the school’s grant project lead.

This grant was made possible by funding from Cargill.