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Good Morning America is promoting the Kindness Matters movement by highlighting the Great Kindness Challenge on their national program!   Click here to view

Jill McManigal, 52, from Carlsbad, California, said that she originally started the Great Kindness Challenge in her backyard with her children, who were only seven and four years old at the time, and their neighborhood friends. Together, the group formed what became "Kids for Peace," an international non-profit that spearheaded the Great Kindness Challenge, a challenge taken by schools and youth groups to perform as many acts of kindness, form a list fifty acts, as possible over the course of the week.

"My inspiration is creating a world where everyone is loved and cared for and happy," McManigal told ABC News. "The mission of the Great Kindness Challenge is to create a school environments where all students thrive."

"We want all children and all students to recognize the goodness in others, and this gives them the platform to do that," McManigal said of the challenge.

In 2012, she brought the challenge to three local schools in her community, including the elementary school her children attended. The following year, 263 schools participated in the challenge. This year, more than 12,000 schools, and over 10 million students across the country, are participating in the challenge.

To participate in the Great Kindness Challenge, students receive a checklist of fifty simple, kind, acts that they can accomplish. Students are encouraged to try and complete all 50 random acts of kindness over the course of one week. Some of the items on the list are as simple as smiling at 25 people, while others might encourage students to step out of their comfort zones by sitting with someone new at lunch.

Richard Tubbs, the principal of Hope Elementary School in Carlsbad, Calif., which was one of the first schools to implement the Great Kindness Challenge, said in a statement that he believes "it’s very important that everyone is always thinking about ways to be kind."

"We just want everyone to be able to share that same kindness wherever they go in their community, around the world," Tubbs added.

McManigal said the reaction to the challenge at schools has been overwhelmingly positive.

"I see that everyone is just a bit more or a lot more happier," McManigal said. "There is such a power in doing for others, and also from receiving."  McManigal added that teachers have also been very supportive of the Great Kindness Challenge in their schools because it "because they see their students reaching out to each other and being very conscious of their actions and words, so it makes for a happier and healthier learning environment."

The materials that educators need to implement the Great Kindness Challenge in their schools is all free, according to McManigal, who added that they have over 25,000 volunteers with their organization working to implement the challenge in local schools.

McManigal added that the joy that the program brings to schools and communities is "palpable." "As the children are given permission to go out there and really exert their kindness," McManigal said. "It creates this joy that is palpable on campuses."

Cardboard Challenge unleashes creativity

Many of today’s educational programs try to engage children by using the latest technology — instructional videos, computer games, coding classes — yet a plain old cardboard box is still right up there as a tool to spark learning and creativity.

Hope Elementary School in Carlsbad is among several San Diego County schools that recently put the spotlight on what kids can dream up, using simple materials like cardboard, duct tape and empty paper towel rolls.

View the rest of the SD Union Tribune article here.

Community connection with a cop

Check out this great event at Hope -- Coffee with a Cop!   Students spent time in four different rotations to hear a safety story from a police officer, see the SWAT vehicle, learn about the K-9 units, and even sit on a police motorcycle.  Students wrote thank you letters and community donations from HydroFlask (water bottles), Vons (food), Milton's Bakery (baked goods), Adair Salon (gift cards), and Famalure Jewelry were placed 125 gift bags for every Carlsbad police officer.  Watch the story here.

Oside news 

Carlsbad Patch


Patch.comCARLSBAD, CA — When kindergartners at Hope Elementary School hosted Carlsbad police Tuesday for "Kindergarten Donuts and Coffee with a Cop," officers left not only with full stomachs, but gift bags of appreciation for every officer employed by the city of Carlsbad Police Department.

During the event, which was part of the Tamarack Avenue school's Community Connections campaign, students spent time at four stations where they learned from the police officers about safety, SWAT vehicles, K-9 units and the important role police officers play in helping the community. 

The students were delighted when one of the officers also took the time to read to them.

"We always enjoy the opportunity to spend time with Carlsbad’s children," said Jodee Sasway, spokeswoman for the Carlsbad Police Department. "Community relationships and partnerships are very important in effective policing. It is never too early to start building those relationships."

Many of Carlsbad’s police officers, including Cpl. Alonso Develasco, K9 Tyson’s partner, are alumni of Carlsbad schools, she said.

"The officers enjoy the opportunity to go back to the school and talk to the children about reaching for their dreams," Sasway said. "A big thank you to the children and staff of Hope Elementary for their support, kind words and the opportunity to spend time with these terrific children."

Local businesses lent their support for the event by donating items for the gift bags.

"We had some incredible sponsors who made it possible," said parent volunteer Christina McGoldrick, who helped organize the event. "Our buckets are full and we are very grateful!"

According to McGoldrick, "Vons donated 50 bagels, 120 donuts and 100 waters; Hydro Flask donated 125 of the world's best water bottles; Famulare Jewelers donated a Citizen watch and 125 watch batteries; Milton's Bakery donated 125 bags of baked goods; Salon Adair donated 125 gift cards; Mission Linen donated tablecloths; and the kindergartners wrote the nicest thank-you notes."

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Hope Elementary Hosts Coffee With a Cop

in News September 14, 2016

Carlsbad CA— Kindergarten students at Hope Elementary School welcomed officers of the Carlsbad Police Department, to their school, for Donuts and Coffee with a Cop.

“We started the “Great Kindness Challenge” with two other Carlsbad schools, several years ago, and that specific challenge was to see how many acts of kindness you can do in a week.” explained Hope Elementary School Principal, Richard Tubbs, “Of course we want to challenge and promote kindness throughout the year and every single day so this is a great way for us to show kindness with a cop.”

The kids rotated to various stations featuring a K-9 demonstration with Officer Alsonso DeVelasco and Tyson, a six-year-old German Shepard, a tour of the SWAT/Rescue vehicle, a CPD motorcycle and Officer Jake Jucenas reading ‘Keeping you Safe’ to the kids. The kids also had a chance just to sit enjoy some food and conversation with the officers.

Kindergarten students enjoying demos and stories during @CarlsbadPolice #coffeewithacop at @hopehawks

A video posted by OsideNews (@osidenews) on Sep 13, 2016 at 10:31am PDT

“These kids participating in the rotations get to see up close and personal and learn the role the officers have to take care of our community.” said the Principal, “This is our first Coffee with a Cop. We are always looking for ways to get more involved with the community and for the community to be more involved with us. This is just a great way to do that.”

Along with an overdose of cute and conversation with the kids, the officers were treated to coffee, donuts and bagels, donated by Vons for the event. “The school was able to secure some donations from local companies, get them involved and every single officer in the department is getting a gift bag.” Along with food from Vons, Milton’s Bakery and Lululemons, each officer is receiving a flask from HydroFlask. “Those cups have like a $35- $40 value and each officer is getting one.” said Mr. Tubbs. Famulare Jewelers also donated to the cause. “The sign above the bags says it all.” said Principal Tubbs. The sign, decorated with dozens of little hand prints, reads “For all you have done and all you will do, I know I am safe because of you.”

“Kids at this age are so innocent.” said Officer Alsonso DeVelasco after the K-9 demonstrations, “We are so very blessed to have had an opportunity to come here today.”

SAN DIEGO - A local couple is moved to help after a terrible crime against special needs students at a Carlsbad School.

Someone stole all eight iPads from the special education classroom at Hope Elementary over the weekend.

Dennis and Maureen Shanahan saw the story when they were watching 10News Monday night.  "It was such a horrendous robbery. You've got this class of special needs children who are relying on their tablets. For someone to come in and steal that equipment, it just absolutely shocked me," said Shanahan.

Shanahan is a retired doctor. He's always had a soft spot for children.  "It takes a pretty low life to do something like that. I just felt I needed to do something about that," said Shanahan.

Shanahan called the principal of Hope Elementary Tuesday morning and made a generous offer. He'll replace the stolen iPads and buy more if the school needs them.  "He was flabbergasted," said Shanahan.

The Shanahans have one grown son. They've always valued education. I want them to have the tools they need. I want them to have the opportunities that they need," said Shanahan.

"I think that it's just horrendous to be stealing from an educational institution," said his wife, Maureen. The Shanahans are hoping their act of kindness will inspire others to get involved.  "We're in a fairly affluent area, and these kinds of things are going on all the time. It would be great to see other people do what I'm doing. Pay it forward, absolutely. "

The principal estimates the cost of the stolen iPads is roughly $3,000.  There have been no arrests in the weekend break in. 

Click HERE to read the story.


CARLSBAD, Calif. - Several iPads were stolen from two special needs classrooms in Carlsbad over the weekend.

Hope Elementary School teachers said they noticed the seven iPads missing shortly after class started Monday morning.“We were devastated, and shocked and so sad,” said teacher Jennifer Bannock.  Teachers said their students with autism and other special needs are left to pay the price, not understanding the situation.   “These are crucial for our students. We have kids who non-verbal, they don’t speak. The iPad is their voice and now their voice is gone,” said Bannock.  Bannock explained that her students consider the iPad programs as games, but are true learning tools.   “They're learning how to identify letters and numbers,” said Bannock.  The thieves seemed to know exactly what to look for when they came into the classroom, according to Bannock.  “Nothing else was touched in my classroom,” Bannock said.

Police are working with school officials by checking several security camera video from the weekend.  School officials also plan to work with a security team at Apple in hopes to locate the iPads.

“At this point we aren’t sure how they got in yet. There were some screens that were disturbed around the outside perimeter,” said Principal Richard Tubbs.  “We’ll be looking at ways to replace these iPads as soon as possible and we’ll come up with another security measure to make sure this doesn’t happen again."

Click HERE to read the story.

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A student who went into cardiac arrest last month at Hope Elementary School in Carlsbad and was revived by school workers using a defibrillator is back in class after undergoing surgery.

“I’m happy to be back at school,” Estella Gong, 11, said Wednesday. “I want to learn more every day.”

Her parents, Jincy and Nicholas Nye, said they are grateful for the fast-acting Hope staff who rushed to their daughter’s side with an automated external defibrillator after she collapsed at the school the morning of Dec. 18.

“I’m just glad they had one here, and for how fast they responded,” her father said about the AED and the staff.

Jincy Nye said she was home when she got a call from school officials telling her that Estella was on her way to the hospital.

The news was alarming, but not a complete surprise. Estella was born with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a disease that causes thickening of heart muscles.

“This was something her cardiologist said could happen at any time,” her mother said.

But if it had happened elsewhere, the outcome might not have been the same, she added.

Like all schools in the Carlsbad Unified School District, Hope Elementary has an AED on campus, and several staff members have been trained to use it. In 2006, the district became the first in the state to have the devices at each school.

“It was actually kind of a relief that it happened when it did, where it did,” Jincy Nye said. “If it happened at home, I don’t know what I could have done for her.”

Estella, who returned to school Jan. 14, said she doesn’t have any memories of the day she collapsed, other than feeling frustrated at waking up in the hospital and not knowing why she was there.

Doctors implanted an internal defibrillator during her hospital stay, and Estella must take heart medication daily.

Jincy Nye said her daughter’s voice hasn’t fully recovered from having a breathing tube down her throat, but that she does not appear to have any long-term effects from the incident.

Cardiac arrest can be fatal within minutes or leave a person with brain damage from lack of oxygen. Estella seems to be fine, an indication that the school staff worked very quickly to restart her heart, Jincy Nye said.

Hope Principal Richard Tubbs told U-T San Diego in December that the school’s response to the emergency was a team effort.

Custodian Catherine Torres first noticed Estella on the ground near the cafeteria’s entrance, and Tubbs said she quickly notified him.

Tubbs said he radioed office assistant Julie Price, who called 911. Torres ran to notify health technician Jennifer Thirkell, who soon began administering chest compressions after finding that Estella had no pulse.

Instructional assistant Jennifer Caraglior retrieved the AED from the front office and rushed it to Thirkell, who placed its electrical pads on Estella and followed the operating instructions from an automated voice recording.

Tubbs rode with Estella to the hospital and called her parents.

While the girl was in the hospital, staff members and students created get-well cards, bought stuffed animals, and raised a collection for her family, who used the money to buy her a mini iPad.

Tubbs said when he heard Estella had returned to school, he immediately left a staff meeting and went to her classroom to deliver more cards.

“I was so happy to see her,” he said.

Estella, who wears cochlear implants and is in the school’s deaf and hard-of-hearing program, giggled as she talked about being back in class with her teachers Carole Champion and Thalia Arnold.

“It’s a feeling of a miracle,” Champion said of Estella’s return.

AEDs were placed at schools throughout the Carlsbad district after a family who had lost a daughter to cardiac arrest began a fundraiser to buy the devices.

Kendra Rose Blaylock was a student in the Carlsbad district when she died in 2001. Her father, Kim Blaylock, started the fundraiser.

Jincy Nye said she already has thanked Blaylock over the phone, and she and her husband plan to take him out to dinner Feb. 1.

Click HERE to read more.

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Kids helping create a native plant garden
By Gary Warth12:01 a.m.Jan. 18, 2013 Updated4:02 p.m.Jan. 17, 2013 
Click Here to read.

Students at Hope Elementary School dug into their work Thursday morning, pitching in with pint-size shovels to help create a native plant garden at the Carlsbad campus.

“It must be 100 feet deep already,” one boy said as he looked into a hole that actually was considerably more shallow.

“What do we do with this rock?” a girl asked as another boy told his teacher he needed more planting soil.

Suddenly, Principal Richard Tubbs was the center of attention, and the kids surrounded him to watch as he used a jackhammer to deepen a particularly stubborn layer of rock.

While the dirty work was a fun activity for the morning, the end result could give the children a lifelong appreciation of the habitat around them.

“This native plant garden helps the kids make a connection with places where they might go hiking,” said Jonathan Snapp-Cook, a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist and coordinator for Partners for Fish and Wildlife, which provided $3,000 for the project.

Snapp-Cook and other U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologists, including Hope School parent Mary Beth Woulfe, were at the campus Thursday morning to oversee the planting of 90 native species such as black sage, California buckwheat and California sagebrush.

The walkway and irrigation lines in the 4,000-square-foot garden were completed by Christian Ramos and Michael Pacanos as their Eagle Scout projects.

The garden design was a collaboration among the school’s Kids for Peace Club, parents and Bloom Garden Design, which is owned by Hope School parent Kathy Henry.

The federal wildlife agency has helped create a similar native habitat garden at Capri Elementary School in Encinitas, and others are planned at Calavera Hills Middle School in Carlsbad and Grant Elementary School in San Diego.

Future native gardens are planned by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Schoolyard Habitat Program, created on the East Coast about seven years ago. Biologist Simon Bird took over the position of program coordinator about four months ago.

“The driving force of the program is to make kids into stewards and to appreciate natural resources,” Bird said. “It gets them connected with nature.”

Snapp-Cook said Tubbs wanted a native plant garden on campus after he noticed students at recess peering through the fences at plants and bugs in the open space that surrounds the school.

Bird said teachers and parent groups at many schools already are creating their own native plant gardens, but they sometimes lack the expertise to create one that attracts wildlife.

“We’re trying to create something that’s functional, so it actually provides resources for birds and insects,” he said. “And kids get really excited when they see butterflies taking off.”

Besides lessons in biology, Bird said teachers will be able to use the garden to teach other subjects, such as art and math, with assignments about drawing and measuring.

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CARLSBAD — Fast-thinking school officials and an on-campus defibrillator may have helped save the life of an 11-year-old student who went into sudden cardiac arrest at Hope Elementary School in Carlsbad this week.

“What’s amazing about the story is how many people rose to the occasion,” Hope Principal Richard Tubbs said Thursday. “There isn’t one hero.”

The girl collapsed at about 9:40 a.m. Tuesday as she was entering the cafeteria at recess, Tubbs said.

When Tubbs and other staff members rushed to her aid, they discovered she had no pulse, he said. They grabbed the school’s automatic external defibrillator, more commonly known as an AED, and used it to restart her heart.

The student — whose name has not been released — also received CPR until paramedics arrived. On Thursday, Tubbs said he was waiting to hear an update on her condition from her family.

The girl was the second North County student in two years who may have been saved by an AED provided by San Diego Project Heartbeat.

In December 2010, Rincon Middle School student Ian Quinones collapsed in cardiac arrest during a physical education class. A school nurse used an AED on Ian, who was taken to a hospital and treated for a heart condition that had gone undetected.

All other schools in the Escondido Union School District were supplied with AEDs the following year.

The Carlsbad Unified School District became the first in the state to supply all its campuses with the devices in 2006, but the Tuesday incident was the first time one had been used.

Custodian Catherine Torres was vacuuming the cafeteria’s entrance when she noticed the girl on the ground, said Tubbs, who was nearby at the media center setting up rainy-day activities for students.

“I have an unconscious child,” Tubbs radioed to office assistant Julie Price after coming to the scene. Price called 911 and Torres ran to notify health technician Jennifer Thirkell, who was in the restroom.

“She has no pulse,” Thirkell said as she checked on the child. While Thirkell began administering chest compressions on the girl, Tubbs headed to the front office to retrieve the AED.

Meanwhile, cafeteria worker Lisa Beveridge, who is new at the school, had gone into the teachers lounge to ask about the location of the AED.

Instructional assistant Jennifer Caraglior said that was all she needed to hear.

“I didn’t ask why,” she said. “I just moved.”

Caraglior said she grabbed the AED from a wall in the front office and was headed out the door when she bumped into Tubbs. While he continued inside to retrieve a breathing mask to use with CPR, Caraglior took the AED to the cafeteria.

Caraglior opened the AED container and handed it to Thirkell, who placed electrical pads on the girl. Both had been trained to use the device.

“It’s intense, but the training paid off,” Thirkell said. “There wasn’t time to be afraid.”

An automated voice in the device instructs people how to use the AED, which monitors vital signs and applies a shock if needed.

While focused on saving the girl, school staff members had the presence of mind to shield other students from what could be a traumatic sight. Teachers ushered children away while librarian Pam Crumb and art teacher Amy Miller held a blanket and room divider to give privacy to the adults helping the girl.

Paramedic Dan Beebe, a training coordinator with Project Heartbeat, said the for-profit company manages 8,000 AEDs in locations throughout the county, including in 22 school districts.

The Hope Elementary School student was the youngest of the 107 people who have been saved by the devices over 10 years, he said.

The incident was especially meaningful to Kim Blaylock, who retired from the Carlsbad Fire Department seven years ago.

Blaylock’s daughter, Kendra Rose Blaylock, was a student in the Carlsbad district when she died of sudden cardiac arrest in 2001.

After attending a fundraiser to pay for AEDs for a Washington school district where another student had died, Blaylock said he and his wife, Michele, decided to organize fundraisers for Carlsbad.

He learned about the Tuesday incident from old buddies in the fire department who knew of his connection to the AEDs.

“I basically said, ‘I love it,’ Blaylock said he replied to his friends.

“To save a girl’s life, what a beautiful gift to give to a family at Christmas,” he said.

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Butterfly Release Memorial

Check out this online article with a quote and photo of 5th grader, Tyler.


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Hope Elementary Students Create Robots Out of Junk



Carlsbad, CA …          On a whirlwind weekend of August 27th-28th before school began on August 30th, Carlsbad High School June 2011 graduate Sam Reiser, with help from friends and family, constructed a 700-square-foot outdoor learning area at Hope Elementary where Canine Companions for Independence dog Yori can be comfortably ensconced as he helps the seven K-2 students with special needs in Education Specialist Elizabeth Olson’s class gain key life skills.


Sam and his team rid the area of weeds, leveled the ground, installed wood chips, built a fence and two benches, and moved in a picnic table and donated dog igloo to create a little outdoor paradise for Yori to do his important work.


Sam built the area as an Eagle Scout project. The process was delayed while Sam, now 18-1/2 years old and 16 months cancer-free, battled Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma twice. As a two-time survivor, Sam says he feels a special connection to children. Calling himself “a stem cell transplant success story,” he believes, “The cancer has given me a young immune system and an old soul. Doing work such as this enables me to lift children’s spirits.” Sam plans to continue his good works by performing missionary service at a Haiti orphanage.


Olson says the new learning area is ideal for her students and a great place for them to meet and mingle with mainstream Hope students. “My students are functionally non-verbal,” she explains. “Yori, a retriever/lab mix, not only provides emotional support to them and a level playing field between them and their peers, but also motivates my kids to learn. He literally builds language out of them. One student who had declined to say ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye’ to anyone said these words first to Yori and then began to share them with others.”


Hope Principal Richard Tubbs states, "I admire and respect the work Sam put into this project. His outstanding work will have a positive impact on hundreds of students who utilize this area with our therapy dog on a daily basis."

Sam's project for our dog
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Service Dog Helps Autistic Students Find Their Voice

Hope Elementary School
3010 Tamarack Ave, Carlsbad, CA

Yori is a service dog from Canine Companions for Independence that is making a world of difference in the lives of students at Hope Elementary.

Yori plays fetch, has his teeth brushed and gets hugs, which most of the time are not gentle, but he handles it all with patience and care. The 2 1/2-year-old service dog is teaching the autistic students in Elizabeth Olson's class at Hope Elementary to communicate.

"They all want to play fetch and what's interesting is that Yori hates fetch at home, but will play for hours with the kids because he knows it's what they want," says Olson. She adds, "I have never found a teaching tool as effective as this dog."

Yori has an amazing ability to get nonverbal kids talking. They now say "da" for dog. 

"I've got another student," says Olson, "who we've been working with for three years on saying 'hello' and 'goodbye.' He'd never been able to do it. Next thing you know he's saying 'hi' and 'goodbye' to Yori, then me, and now everyone."

Olson got Yori in August through Canine Companions for Independence. "When he's here he's working; when he's home he's a pet," she explains.

Olson has been working with autistic students for nine years and says everyone tells her the classroom seems calmer this year.

To see Yori in action and truly understand how a service dog for autistic students aids a classroom, watch the video.

Carlsbad Art Grant

An elementary school art project that involves special wood-burning equipment, several high school music programs and some community theater performances will all receive grant money from the Carlsbad Cultural Arts Office this year, the city announced.

Now in its 25th year, the annual community arts grant program offers matching money to schools and organizations that provide public art education and performances. This year's grants totaled $25,000 ---- the same amount as last year, said Peter Gordon, the city's cultural arts office manager.

"We'd like to expand it," he added, saying that the city would love to have someone create an endowment for the grant program similar to the one that the estate of Robert Gartner established in 2005 for programming at the city's Schulman Auditorium. "I wish we had more money for this, but I have to say these groups do a lot with what they get."

The city breaks its grant applications into two piles ---- part of the grant money goes to school-related activities, the other is for organizations that host general arts events. Grant recipients for each category are picked by a city-organized committee containing representatives from the city's arts commission and arts professionals.

This year, the city handed out 11 grants in the schools category, with individual grants ranging from $837 to $1,200. It gave out seven community group grants, each ranging from $700 to $4,000.

One of the more unusual requests was for funding for wood-burning equipment for Hope Elementary School. The school's artist-in-residence, Amy Miller, said she plans to use the equipment for multiple projects, but the school's fourth-graders will get first dibs. They're going to create American Indian scenes on blocks of wood as part of their U.S. history education, she said.

"I like to include what we're doing in the classroom (in the art projects)," she said.

Each student will have a block of wood, and they'll be able to make pictures in the wood using the hot tip of the wood-burning, pen-like device, she said.

The city requires that the grants be matched with donations or money from other sources. Miller said her school's Friends of Hope Elementary School group is kicking in their matching money.

Click here for the article online

Copyright 2011 North County Times - The Californian. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

HOPE goes GAGA over GAGA

You can view a new video report about our GaGa fun. 

Carlsbad, CA …          Hope Elementary students have gone gaga over Gaga, an exciting, rapid-paced, elimination ball game played within the compact confines of a Gaga court. The game is safe, inclusive and wildly fun; a controlled chaos that involves hand-eye coordination, physical skills, etiquette and the obligatory “Gaga” yell. Since the court’s installation in October, Gaga has become a big attraction for students before school, during morning recess and at lunchtime.

The Haun family, whose son Trevor attends Hope, donated the funds for materials. Home Depot jumped in with a $50 credit. Principal Richard Tubbs and his son Jax, a fourth-grader at Hope, built the court, which was painted as part of an Eagle Scout project on campus.

Principal Tubbs reports, “The court fit perfectly under an existing  gazebo area on the playground. It’s small in size, but huge in fun!”

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