January 1, 2021 | Your generous $5,000 grant allows us to continue our multi-phase school beautification program.  An earlier grant allowed us to build an outdoor classroom, add plantings and mulch, and trim trees.  With this new money we hope to provide fresh new signs, give the exterior viewable from the road a much-needed pressure washing, and provide additional plantings.

With the last grant, our volunteers helped us to get the most bang-for-the-buck.  We hope to stretch these dollars as well.

If you’d like to be alerted to volunteer opportunities, please join our email notification list.

Thanks again CSX!

November 10, 2020 | We come to the close of the CSX grant. We are proud of how much we were able to accomplish.

We stretched the grant funds received nearly one year ago with in-kind contributions and volunteer labor.  This budget does not include hardly any of the volunteer labor.  However, we did report “specialized skilled volunteer labor” as in-kind contributions below.

On behalf of all the students, teachers, staff, and friends of Dinsmore Elementary, thank you again CSX for this school beautification grant!

Outdoor Classroom is Open!

November 2, 2020 | Students and teachers can now enjoy an outdoor classroom.  The benches and customized narrow tables face the teacher in a “fireside setting” atmosphere.  This is a first-of-its-kind outdoor classroom design.

Leaving the four walls of the classroom and holding a class outdoors promotes learning.  Kids have increased concentration and are more motivated, inspired and willing to learn when lessons are held outdoors.

Moreover, findings from a 2017 study show that learning outdoors is not just a fun, novel experience for kids, but also helps them focus once they return to the classroom.  There is a carryover effect as children actually pay better attention in class after an outdoor lesson.  Just an hour or two of outdoor learning engages children, improves their well-being, and increases teachers’ job satisfaction.

We have a slab!

September 27, 2020 | The cement slab for the outdoor classroom has school district approval. We accepted delivery of six student tables and the teacher bench. As soon as we receive the student benches, our Friends volunteer will install the furniture!

All Systems are “Go”

August 14, 2020 | The Outdoor Classroom is happening! The fence is gone, the concrete slab building permit obtained, and the tables and benches are on order. This is an exciting day that our Friends President started thinking would never happen!

Sign Work

August 5, 2020 | The reserved parking signs are now all the same height and stand up straight! Oh yeah, they’re clean too.

Friends volunteer, Roger Mann, didn’t stop there! He moved this no parking sign. We can now get rid of the sign pole.

The new plantings at the base of the light pole were donated by A & J Custom Lawn Care, Inc. Thanks Allen!

$2.65 Improvement

August 1, 2020 | Making Dinsmore Elementary a little better. Little improvements add up.

Site Selection

July 9, 2020 | The site of the Outdoor Classroom has been selected! As soon as the permit for the concrete slab has been issued by the school district, the furniture will be ordered! Thanks CSX for the School Beautification Grant!

School Beautification

June 26, 2020 | School Beautification is still happening!

Today a stump grinder prepared the small area in the front of the school (near the library) for cultivation. It took a huge machine to dig though the web of small roots, compacted mulch, and who knows what else. Now we can let it settle and see how much soil needs to be removed prior to planting.

Beautification Work Days

March 12, 2020 | Two school beautification work days were held this week. In the Interim between the work days, the hedges were severely trimmed by the school grounds crew. Just had to say, Friends did NOT trim the hedges. Here is what was accomplished:

  • Day 1: The dead tree next to the principal parking space was cut down and removed.
  • Day 1: The hedges to the right of the flag pole were cleaned free of vines and debris.
  • Day 1: All the leaves in front of the school were bagged and trashed.
  • Day 2: The 8 poles in the hedges were expertly removed by volunteer, Roger Mann.
  • Day 2: While there with his small tractor, Roger also removed an invasive plant in the hedges to the left of the flagpole. Friends will plant two new plants in the gap.
  • Day 2: We again cleaned out debris under the hedges to the right of the flagpole. It was easier this time as was only freshly fallen trimmings.
  • Day 2: The Little Free Library was moved to a safer location. When the traffic fatality on Old Kings Road came close to the Little Free Library, the principal said she’d like it moved away from the higher-speed traffic. Now the Little Free Library is near the walk-up dismissal area.

We hope to spread mulch on our next school beautification work day! To be notified of the date, sign up for email alerts.