About a week ago I got a call from the YMCA camp she went to last summer (the same camp that gave her an award at the zoo in January) asking if they could get her input on a new playground. They had been awarded a grant for a new playground and the engineers and designers from KaBoom (a playground company) were going to be in town to hear what the kids wanted.
So yesterday I picked her up from school and drove her out to the YMCA. I was a little frustrated with the timing as this could very well be the busiest week of the semester for me. But I thought it would be a memorable experience and I thought she might actually be just the kid to make real contributions to this "dream playground". So I left work early and drove across town and back to get her to a meeting/creative session with the YMCA camp director and the people from KaBoom.
I am so glad I did. It was a great experience for the children. They were told to create their dream playground on paper and then were asked to get up and present to the group. All these adults and all these engineers and all these camp employees were sitting in chairs listening intently to the children present their ideas. It was very powerful and very exciting to watch what kids can do when their imaginations are free.
This was the perfect project for Emma Jane as it involved art, leadership, creativity and public speaking.
And the next morning she was featured on the front page of the Local section in The Tulsa World. Pretty cool way to start your day, I think.