St. Thomas More School is taking a big step for its youngest learners.
“We plan on purchasing a playground structure and having fencing installed around the playground for our pre-K programs,” said Elizabeth Glaze, principal of St. Thomas More. “This is one of the major hurdles for finishing our licensing for the preschool programs.”
The new play structure, which will be installed later this year, will be specifically tailored to fit the needs of St. Thomas More’s young learners.
“The play structure we have now doesn’t work for the little kids. We need something more age-appropriate,” explained Elizabeth. “The new play structure will be very low to the ground and will go nicely with the aesthetics of our building. It will be appealing to look at, but kid-friendly and safe!”
The project was made possible through a School Partnership Grant from the Fulcrum Foundation. Installing the new play structure and completing the licensure process for St. Thomas More’s preschool will meet critical needs within the community by allowing the school to provide full-day care and instruction.
“Having a suitable play structure is one of the major requirements to becoming licensed by the state,” said Elizabeth. “It was the most costly part of the process. If we didn’t have this grant from Fulcrum, we couldn’t have completed this step. Being able to offer a licensed preschool program will meet a lot of needs in our community. We have a lot of working parents who have said, ‘If you had a full-day preschool program, we’d be there!’ So I said, okay. Let’s get it done.”
Receiving support from Fulcrum can make a lasting impact on a school community, said Elizabeth. “We wouldn’t be able to do this amazing thing if we didn’t have such generous supporters and donors who believed in Catholic education. Without this kind of support, we wouldn’t be able to do the things we do or keep up with the innovative and creative ways that we are educating students.”
“I’ve been in and out of Catholic education,” Elizabeth added. “I’ve been in public schools as long as I’ve been in Catholic schools. And let me tell you, Catholic education very specifically meets the needs of the whole child. The way faith is integrated into the entire school day is life changing. These kids are not just being taught the faith; they’re seeing what it looks like in practice. There’s no other way you can get that except at a Catholic school.”
Elizabeth said she was excited to get the playground project underway and felt grateful for the support of Fulcrum and its donors.
“Things are changing so fast in the world and we have to make sure the kids are growing up to be contributing, cooperative, and mindful members of society who can deal with the problems their generation will face. The support of generous donors from the Fulcrum Foundation is a game-changer,” said Elizabeth.
“On a personal note, I’d like to say that this is my dream job,” Elizabeth continued. “I’m so blessed and so, so lucky. I’ve met so many amazing people in the Archdiocese of Seattle and the Fulcrum Foundation who have provided support from the top-down. I can’t think of any other job that I’ve had where there’s been such a rally to support and help others.”