December 21, 2014

Madison Elementary competing for grant to build walking trail

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com
Community members can help Madison Elementary win up to $50,000, and all it takes is a simple online vote.
Brooke Hughes, Student Support Coordinator at Madison Elementary School, said if Madison Elementary wins, the school will use the funds to create a walking trail along the back side of the playground where wheelchair-bound students can interact with their peers.
“Some of those interactions we give kiddos with kids that are different from them allow them to grow leaps and bounds as a person. That’s kind of what we’re striving after,” Hughes said.
Grant applicants compete for online votes in three different categories, “Play,” “Create,” and “Explore.” The top vote getter in online voting will receive a grant for $50,000. The next top vote getters in each of the three categories will receive $25,000 grants and Clorox judges will select three additional schools, one in each category, for $25,000 judges’ choice grants.
Madison Elementary is competing against 508 other schools in the “Play” category and 2,501 other schools for the grand prize.
“I think one of the things is whether or not we win, this is such a great opportunity – just showing the support for those families (with wheelchair-bound students),” Hughes said. “We want them to be a part of our play. That’s the important piece to this.”
Community members can cast one vote per day through email at LINK and one vote per day via text.
Hughes said she’s excited that Madison is competing in the “Play” category.
“Sometimes we forget about play and focus on achievement,” Hughes said. “And play is part of a well-rounded experience.”
Hughes and the Madison Elementary School community are counting on assistance from neighbors, friends and family to secure one of the seven grants.
“We’ve got a powerhouse of a PTA, and we’ve got some great members on there wanting the best opportunities for our kiddos,” Hughes explained. “This is something where we can all band together. I’m excited.”
Should the school receive the grand prize $50,000 grant or have money leftover from one of the smaller grants, the additional funds will be used in the school’s sensory education room.
To vote for Madison Elementary School, visit LINK.

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