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Toomer Elementary teacher seeking $100,000 grant for ‘inclusive’ playground

Kirkwood and East Lake

Toomer Elementary teacher seeking $100,000 grant for ‘inclusive’ playground


Toomer Elementary teacher Emily Max is a finalist for a $100,000 grant offered by Farmers Insurance.

She was the only teacher from Georgia to be named a contender in the eastern region. If she wins, she wants to use the money to build an “inclusive” playground at Toomer that will help children with special needs.

The grant program is called Thank America’s Teachers.

“From February to July 2015, teachers across the country were invited to submit proposals to tell us what they would do with a $100,000 grant,” the Farmers Insurance website says. “Farmers selected 15 finalists from the extraordinary submissions from teachers all across the country. Of the five finalists from each zone – Western, Central, Eastern – the top two vote getters per zone will each receive a $100,000 grant.”

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This video explains more about Max’s idea …

According to the website, more than 70 percent of students at Toomer are on free and reduced lunch. The school lacks resources to serve many special needs students.

“If Max were to win the $100,000 Dream Big Teacher Challenge grant, she would build an inclusive playground that is accessible for the school’s special needs students,” the website says. “The play space would include low structures with ramps, low monkey bars, and balance building stations.”

Voting will take place through Oct. 31 and people can vote daily for their favorite project. The winners will be announced in December. People can vote by clicking here.