Timeline: We look forwarded to beginning this work imediately! Having met today, 8/6/2023, we are well on our way to rolling up our sleeves for children and families in our El Paso community!
We anticipate the physical labor of resurfacing a basketball court in our community will begin approximately October 1, 2023. This allows for time for team meetings and outreach to community partners and families.
As a team, we plan to meet as needed in this beginning phase, but no less than once every two weeks. It is anticipated that as relationships are built and extended, and as a court is identified, our working meetings will occur once/week.
As to key dates, we identify October 1 as a target start date and Thanksgiving as a completion date.
As to impact, we believe that Fraction Ball is a prime opportunity to engage young children with STEM skills. As three of our adult team members are professors of STEM education, we think there is opportunity to not only engage children and families, but also community leaders, teachers, and other researchers.
As to measureable goals, we hope to 1) engage a community partner as a way to create sustainability. By identifying a partner, we also hope to 2) engage our community members, those who are a part of the partnership and also families througout our community. We foresee, for example, the opportunity to create a GoFundMe page where community members involved may contribute to future projects to bring playful experiences to children and families (of their choosing and desire). As well, we hope to 3) invite our community to the experience, both when Fraction Ball is under construction, but also before and after. We hope to tally up the number of children and famiilies, as well as hours engaged, these constituencies were a part of this project. We foresee an "opening ceremony" with popsicles to celebrate what the community has accomplished.
We hope to spread the word of this project using our personal and professional social media outlets in addition to the outlets our university harnesses. As well, we intend on reaching out to the El Paso Community Foundation, the El Paso Times, El Paso Matters, and our personal friends and families to bring the crowds in! In doing so, the goal is to spread awareness of playful learning experiences, in STEM yes, but also in other domains of childhood development. It would be wonderful to engage our community school districts and our Department of Parks and Recreation in this work moving forward.
Location: While we do not yet have a confirmed site, we are hopeful to engage with The Center for Community Engagement at The University of Texas at El Paso to help secure a site in a school and/or community organization that would benefit from this project and also the community building. A prime candidate for this work is Lamar Elementary School or PSI El Paso.
As to our Kid Leaders, of whom there are three (ages 6, 8, and 13!), they indicated that their interests lie in rallying community and friends, visiting potential sites, in choosing colors for the painting, and in helping us paint! Additionally, they bring cheer and joyful spirits as a reminder of why the adults are, in-part, undertaking this work!