Students at Byron-Bergen celebrate new four square court
Students at Byron-Bergen Elementary School have focused their efforts on an impressive goal to benefit their school for well over a year. They have been busy planning, organizing, budgeting, working with partners, and raising needed funds. They finally saw all their hard work pay off at an outdoor ceremony at the school’s playground on Nov. 4 when Principal Brian Meister cut the ribbon and opened the new four square playing court.
The project began with the school’s Student Council. Student leaders from grades four through six recognized that a need existed for a safer location for students to play the popular playground game, four square. For years, students had played on a concrete sidewalk next to the parking lot. Errant balls often came much too close to cars and traffic. Student leaders created a proposal to build a new play area with a permanent four square court, partnering up with the community's STEP Boosters, and finding support from the Board of Education and administration leaders.
They planned and organized a number of successful fundraising events and activities. Students researched court building guidelines and rules, designed the court, managed the budget, hired contractors, and directed the work.
“This project came straight from student ideas and has been entirely executed by our students,” Meister said. “It is reality today because our students made it happen.”
The opening ceremony featured a short speech from Student Council President Elli Schelemanow, who thanked the Board of Education, the Byron-Bergen Administration, the Bergen Highway Department, The Pike Company, the Byron-Bergen Maintenance Department, Visual Impact Signs and Graphics, and the elementary school Art teacher Melissa Coniglio. Student Council Vice President Frank Hersom, Treasurer Lexi Vurraro, and Secretary Kendall Phillips were also on hand to assist in the ribbon-cutting, along with BOE President Debra List and Amy Phillips, and STEP Boosters Treasurer Carrie Baubie.
The student court design includes four courts for four square play, with additional areas for shuffleboard and hopscotch.