VOTE: Educator Hopes to Win Big for Her Atlanta School

Toomer Elementary Teacher Hopes to Win Big for Her School

- Emily Max is a teacher at Fred Toomer Elementary School in Atlanta's historic Kirkwood neighborhood. She has entered a contest for a grant which could bring funds to a project she says will improve academic inclusion. 

Farmers Insurance is hosting the online competition called "The Dream Big Challenge." Part of the challenge asked educators from across the country to submit a proposal for what they would do with a $100,000 grant. 

Max, a kindergarten teacher, said one of her goals in life is to make sure everyone is included in all aspects of education... even on the playground. She wants all students included no matter what their physical or cognitive learning abilities are. 

"A lot of academic research has shown that play improves academic success," said Max. "Specifically with younger kids, it improves writing, reading and language." 

Max is grateful for the playground at her school, but she wants to see some improvements to make is accessible for all students. Including those with special needs. The playground is also shared with a Boys and Girls Club next door. 

"It has no mulch, which makes it hard for wheelchairs to wheel in and out."

Those improvements would include rubberized surfaces, ramps, some lower equipment so everyone can reach and some expansion. 

Max's plan was one of 15 selected as a finalists. To earn the grant, she has to win an online vote this month. She's up against four other finalists in the eastern region. 

If you would like to support the "Toomer's Inclusive Playground Project," you can vote for it once each day for the rest of this month. The winner will be announced in December.



  • Click on "Vote for a Proposal"
  • Click on the $100,000 proposal section to find Max's picture and a video about her project
  • As you scroll to get to her proposal, MAKE SURE you click the part where it says "log into Facebook."
  • Once you're logged in, all you have to do is go to her project and click that you are 18 or older and vote! 

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