Can you picture going to Hawaii and back in a few minutes? Students at the schools with playground maps can do just that. The Rotary Club of West Wichita began partnering with the Telephone Pioneers in 2000 to paint maps of the United States on school playgrounds. Soon after, the Sunrise Rotary club and the Interact club West Sedgwick County also sponsored maps. In 2007 the project was extended to Rotary District 5690. It is managed by the Rotary Club of West Wichita. As of 2013, Rotary clubs from District 5690 have been involved in over 30 maps in our district.

These colorful playground maps are 20’ x 40’ and provide a unique teaching aid that is fun for students. A CD is provided for the school that includes a file with outlines and information on each state that can be printed as well as suggestions for games to play. The map can be used to teach math, social studies, science and history as well as geography. For example, using sidewalk chalk students can  create a scale of miles for the map, label the state capitals, major rivers, the number of electoral votes per state, the date the state entered the union, trace the Lewis and Clark expedition, etc.

The Rotary Club of West Wichita provides a kit that includes all paint, equipment, materials, stencil and supplies. Your club pays for this kit and manages the project. That includes coordination with the school for dates, location of the map and logistics at the school as well as soliciting the volunteers for the labor the day of the project.