JECC is ready to start planning “Phase 1” of our ECHO (Early Childhood Health Outdoors) Preschool Playground Project! As many of you have heard in the past year, JECC is among the first group of preschool programs in Colorado to be an ECHO Seed Grant Site. Over 50 different early childhood centers around Colorado applied and only 25 were selected to transform, improve and naturalize their outdoor learning environments.
We are so excited to finally break ground on this initiative and we want to keep our community in the loop. Once JECC is back in full swing for the 2019-2020 school year, we will be holding a community engagement breakfast to share our long term plans and start generating ideas around how you all can help make this dream a reality!
Our amazing partners at ECHO have provided us with an Illustrative Plan and a step by step Action Plan that outlines the first objectives for the playground transformation. We will be sharing this and more with you at the breakfast and will provide the date shortly as soon as we finalize it!
We will begin with a fairly simple first objective of decking over our existing sandbox to create a stage for performances or art-making etc. and building 3 new, smaller auxiliary sandboxes in different areas throughout the outdoor space. As one of our philosophies states, “Start small, move slowly” which goes right along with ECHO’s philosophy that “small, incremental change over time can make a huge impact.''
Fortunately for this first objective, we will have a team of volunteers assisting us from Plante Moran, a national accounting firm headquartered here in Colorado. The first “Build Day” with Plante Moran is scheduled for over summer break on July 2nd from 8:00am-3:00pm! Depending on how big of a team they assemble, we may ask some willing parents and community members to help pitch in that day too and/or provide some tools/supplies to borrow for the day’s work!
Thank you all for your patience and support around this project! We couldn’t be more excited to roll up our sleeves and get started. Feel free to reach out if this type of project is something that you are passionate about and would like to get involved. Have a wonderful summer and we will see you soon!