It’s a Monday morning at Dan D. Rogers Elementary School, and screams of delight are coming from the school’s playground.
Students are swinging as high as possible, while other classmates zoom down a slide.
Thanks to a partnership with the Dallas Park and Recreation Department and Texas Trees Foundation, Rogers Elementary was one of five Dallas ISD schools located in a “park desert”–meaning there was no other park within a 10-minute walk– chosen to become a Cool School Community Park. The partnership brought a new playground, 90 trees and walking trail to the campus.
As part of the unique public-public-private partnership, families from the neighborhood can use the park when school is not in session. And for Rogers Elementary Principal Lisa Lovato, the park brings an extra benefit: further support for the school’s focus on social and emotional learning.
“This provides for us spaces where students can self-regulate and self-manage,” she said.
The other campuses that are home to Cool School Community Parks are:
- S. S. Conner Elementary School
- Tom C. Gooch Elementary School
- C. A. Tatum Jr. Elementary School
- Boude Storey Middle School
Meanwhile, the Texas Trees Foundation is looking to eventually bring dozens of new trees to every Dallas ISD elementary school.