Author: Nicole Soucy, Senior Writer, Bay Path College
LONGMEADOW, Mass.—Students from Beal Elementary School returned from April vacation to find a renovated playground and new schoolyard toys, thanks to the Bay Path College Education Club. Last month, Bay Path College undergraduates took to Beal’s grounds, and planted flowers, gave the playground equipment a fresh coat of paint, and supplied new outdoor toys and equipment, such as jump ropes, a parachute, sidewalk chalk, and football.
“Throughout the years, the Bay Path Education Club has developed numerous relationships with Springfield schools, and the Bay Path community is always supportive in our partnerships either by donating school supplies or participating in fundraisers, which enable us to purchase items,” said Laurel Fortier ’11 of Effingham, NH, who is majoring in elementary education and serves as co-president of the Bay Path Education Club.
The kindergarteners at Beal Elementary put the finishing touches on the project by painting bird houses for the school’s courtyard. The kindergarten class project was part of the exponential learning requirement, and arranged by Jessica Toner ’11 of South Windsor, CT. Toner, who majors in early childhood education and serves as co-president of the Bay Path Education Club, completed her pre-practicum studies at Beal this semester. “It was great to work one-on-one with the students and see them enjoy the learning process while participating in this project,” said Toner. “They were very excited to play a role in beautifying their school.”
In addition to the beautification project this semester, the Bay Path Education Club organized several drives for winter clothing, dictionaries, and school supplies this academic year, all of which benefited Beal Elementary and the families and children it serves. The Club also arranged a “Giving Tree” during the holiday season, which enabled the Bay Path community to purchase gifts for an area family.
The Bay Path College Education Club plans to continue its partnership with Beal Elementary and to broaden its relationships with other Springfield area schools. The Club is accepting suggestions for the fall 2009 semester. Suggestions may be sent to Club Advisor Estelle Leavitt, Bay Path College, 588 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow, MA 01106 or by e-mailing email@example.com or calling 413.565.1227.