One day Jeanette Decker, a paraeducator at Lincoln Elementary, noticed a group of fifth grade girls hanging out on the playground. They seemingly had nothing to do during recess.
That didn’t sit well. She also noticed that in the designated talk zone, kids would be standing, or on the ground, and that did not sit well either.
She got a group of six fifth grade girls together to talk a little bit about what to do about this situation — and a plan was formed.
“I asked them to brainstorm and see if they could come up with something that would help during recess,” Decker said. “Something to help them. During that we came up with the ideas of benches where they could sit and talk or tables where they can play cards.”
They chose to pursue having two tables after looking at a catalogue of park products Decker had. They are from the same company used for benches in a common area where Decker lives.
“They are nice tables that you can seat eight at really easily,” Decker said.
Once that was settled, there was a need for some funding. Principal Cody Reierson found some money in his budget for one table. Decker was able to take care of the other.
“It was a mutual — one coming out of the school and the other (from us). We split the cost,” Decker said.
The girls helped pick the style, color, and engravings for the table tops. Each table is imprinted with “Lincoln Lions.”
They were delivered over the weekend, and placed at the school Feb. 22.
Those tables have proven to be popular during breaks at school.
“I think they will get used a lot,” Decker said. “When they have been out there the kids have hung out there, and I have seen kids doing some of their work. They will sit there and work on their assignments if they have not finished them.”
The tables were placed in an area designated as a “talk zone,” one of several zoned areas painted off on the playground at the school.
Decker has been a para at the school for 10 years, eight years full time.