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After budget falls short, Emerson Elementary teachers take projects into their own hands

Budget impact on Emerson Elementary
Posted at 3:42 PM, Sep 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-06 18:16:50-04

TULSA, Okla. — On one side of the early childhood center at Emerson Elementary, students are free to roam. But around the building there isn't a fence, and children spend more time indoors.

"Of course we just ran out of funding. So the other side is fenced. It's beautiful, they have chickens over there. The three classrooms get to go outside, collaborate... so we really wanted that for this side of the building, for our kids," kindergarten teacher Rachel Caid said.

Caid decided to take matters into her own hands, creating a GoFundMe this week to raise the $6,000 needed for her own outdoor classroom. The goal is more room to move without worrying about safety.

"This is where we do carpool. So it's not busy a lot of the time but they like to come out at the end of the day and then we do have cars. And of course we're close to downtown Tulsa so you just don't want to take a risk of people walking by or something and children being outside playing this close to a street without a fence," Caid said.

Other kindergarten teachers said they wish there was a better solution.

"We've kind of had to share this space. Now this year since we've added a new teacher we have about 125 students in the building so it's not feasible anymore for us to share this space since it's not safe to put that many small children in a small, enclosed area," Natasha Guerra said.

The GoFundMe is managed under the Emerson Foundation. Staff hope to have a new fence by the end of the year.

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