Trenton Elementary makes new addition to playground

TRENTON, Tenn. — Trenton Elementary School is now including a new addition to their playground for kids who struggle with communication delays.

Monday, school teachers and staff gathered for the unveiling of their new verbal communication board for students.

The board funding is a result of Security Bank, Words for Life Speech & Language Center, Leaders Credit Union and others.

Cassie Prestininzi, a speech and language pathologist with Words for Life, says this communication board is one of a kind.

“There are schools and other communities that have things similar to this, but this is one of a kind and unique to our school. Specifically for the tools that we have here on our playground,” Prestininzi said.

Prestininzi says this board will be utilized by kids who are limited verbal speakers, improving their quality of play and interactions with peers during recess.

“A lot of them know what they want to say and they can’t say it, so that leads to a lot of frustrations and stress on the playground doing recess time,” Prestininzi said.

She says there are different scenarios that may happen during recess that a student can not communicate.

“You know if a student falls and hurt their knee, some kids literally cannot go to their teachers and say, ‘I’m hurt.’ If a student needs to be pushed on the swing, they can’t go and request that verbally to their teachers,” Prestininzi said.

Prestininzi says with the help of teachers, this will allow students to go over to the board and physically show what it is they need.

The board has pictures on the front of the board and sign language and Braille on the back.

In addition, the board is also diverse so that every child feels represented.

“One thing we’re proud of and the uniqueness of the sign on both sides actually is that all ethnicities are represented in the pictures. We’ve got boys and girls, all different hair styles, hair colors, and I think all the kids are going to be able to relate to this,” Prestininzi said.

Prestininzi also says she and other teachers are looking forward to the benefits the board will provide for students in the future.

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