Area Rotary clubs create unique map for outdoor learning

Post date: Sep 27, 2017 11:31:45 AM

When students returned to Wells Elementary School in early September, many were greeted by a surprising sight on the pavement near their playground/recess area. Covering a large section of asphalt behind the school, was an 18 x 27 ft. colorful rendition of the United States created in late June by members of the Ogunquit and Wells Rotary Clubs.

“It was a fun project to plan and complete,” commented former president of Wells Rotary Club, Terry Hodskins who sought approval for the map project from WOCSD administrators and the District’s school committee. Hodskins, who was pleased with the way the local Rotary clubs came together for this effort, added, “This was truly a community project.”

For example, a Rotarian from North Berwick provided the stencil for the map, the Rotary Club of Sanford offered assistance including the loan of large handles for paint brushes, Sherwin-Williams in Wells filled the special painting needs and the Wells Fire Department prepared the pavement for painting on June 24th by power washing the designated area.

“We appreciate all the support from the Wells and Ogunquit Rotary for our students,” commented WOCSD Superintendent Jim Daly. “They are always willing to assist our students and schools whenever needed. The map project is just another example of them going the extra mile for our kids!”

Rotary International makes this map project available to local Rotary clubs as part of its Literacy Project. To create the map, an enormous stencil with many holes was placed down on the pavement. The holes were then sprayed over with paint. After the stencil was removed, the dots that remained were connected with various paint colors specified by a Rotary color code chart to distinguish each state and making the map coordinate with an accompanying booklet of games.

Games such as “The Louisiana Purchase” and “Bean Bag Toss” from the booklet can be played on the map as a game board. The games are designed to stimulate student interest in the geography of the USA including learning the names and placement of the 50 states.

Standing on an enormous outdoor map of the USA created by them and other local Rotarians on the pavement behind Wells Elementary School is (l to r) past president of the Wells Rotary Club, Terry Hodskins, current president of Wells Rotary Club, Rick Coyne and past president of the Ogunquit Rotary Club, Erin Haye.