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Fund-A-Need 2021
Optimal Spaces for Learning: Playground Redesign

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One of the many things this past year has taught us is the importance of outdoor space. Our previous playground offered plenty of space to be active in a natural setting. However, it was created more than 20 years ago and was ready for a major re-design. Thanks to the generosity of our 2021 Fund-A-Need donors, we were able to completely renovate our front recess area.


Play is essential to our students and is an important component of an FISW education. Our students work very hard all day long, and they need time to reset and decompress. According to our teachers, students work much better after recess.


At FISW, outdoor play impacts how our students learn. Students discover and engage with their world, use their imagination, test boundaries, and interact with their peers. They develop new competencies that lead to enhanced confidence and resilience.

Based on ideas from students and teachers, we created a new playground with:

• Age-appropriate climbing structures where they can climb bounce and slide, where they can take small risks, and therefore develop their confidence, be energetic, and develop a sense of adventure.

• A raised organic flower and vegetable garden in our amphitheater to help students connect with nature and care for living plants, augmenting what they learn in science class.

• Musical instruments, little houses, and swings that inspire our students to be imaginative and creative by offering them multiple options for free and self-directed play so that they can role-play, pretend, and participate in dramatic play.

• Games and quiet spaces that offer opportunities for students to engage with each other, to solve problems, and to develop friendships.

• A well thought out design that give our students opportunities to make choices and build their independence.


Thank you to all of our generous Fund-A-Need donors for making this beautiful new recess area a reality for our students. It has positive impact on the educational experience, growth, and development of all of our students

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Past Phases of our Spaces for Optimal Learning Project:

FISW ‘s Fund-a-Need allows us to redesign our classrooms in 3 phases

Phase 1: 2017-18 Fund-a-Need – Our $44,000 goal was achieved thanks to your generosity.
- A redesigned 4th grade classrooms with collaborative desks, adjustable individual standing desks, ergonomic chairs, a white board wall, and individual storage space for each student.
- A new wireless infrastructure and upgraded servers.
- A computer cart with 22 laptops that roll into the classroom, as well as one laptop per teacher.
- Freshly painted classrooms with calming colors and focus walls.

Phase 2: 2018-19 Fund-a-Need - We reached our $60,000 goal and redesigned:

- 3 elementary classrooms

- 3 preschool classrooms

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