Ridgeland-Dallas Elementary School students now have another way to reach higher, literally, with the completion of a climbing wall in the gym.
Physical education teacher Sonja Diedrich started the project more than a year ago, gathering donations for rock climbing holds.
“It became a bigger challenge than expected but also a very meaningful experience,” Diedrich wrote in a report to the District Board of Education.
Plywood was purchased from Lampert Lumber for the wall itself, and installed with the help of Jake Lambert.
After sanding, filling holes and priming the wood, Diedrich approached “the most talented artist she knew,” he mother, Judy Shaide, to paint the wall.
Shaide, 81, was reluctant at first, but agreed to paint a mountain scene. After 12 full days of painting, the wall was complete with a scene they titled “Beautiful Memories.”
The climbing wall has become a fun challenge for students and is emblematic of the district mission printed above the wall; “To ensure all students reach their dreams while making a positive impact on the world.”