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Mancos Elementary School awarded two grants

Money will support playground, Google technology

Last week, Mancos Elementary School students and staff celebrated two grants the school recently was awarded.

The first award was a $110,000 Play Ground Initiative grant from Great Outdoors Colorado, awarded in March. The money will go toward a new playground at the elementary school.

In a May 12 assembly, students and staff recognized a student task force that helped design plans for the playground, as well as Principal Cathy Epps.

“It’s very exciting,” Epps said. “These kids worked hard.”

Epps and the student task force worked on a plan last fall that includes a 12-foot-tall net climber, a group swing, a water table, a wet sand digging area and a dining terrace. It also will include a new outdoor classroom near the Mancos River.

The second award is a $5,000 grant from CenturyLink that will fund the purchase of Google Cardboard virtual reality sets and phones to go with them.

Teacher Monica Ramirez said the virtual reality gear will provide a different type of learning for students. “It will take kids out of the classroom,” she said.

Ramirez said the VR equipment will be used during a unit on the book “Flat Stanley,” which tells the story of a boy who travels the world. Google Cardboard will help students experience some of the places Flat Stanley visits in the book in virtual reality, Ramirez said.

CenturyLink awarded 29 similar grants in Colorado this year, out of 313 applications, according to CenturyLink representative Mike Gardner. There were more than 2,000 applications for grants across the nation, he said.

Mancos Elementary Interim Principal Drew Pearson, who took over for Epps after she was injured in a car crash, said it was important to recognize the people responsible for the grants. “Before school ends we have to do some celebrating for some of the things that happened this year,” he told students.


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