At EWB-UD, we believe in the importance of supporting our community at the University of Delaware. Additionally, we strive to provide our members with the opportunity to bond with each other and connect with their community, which helps to form a sense of togetherness within our organization. To address this, we created ReachOut: EWB-UD’s initiative to provide support to the greater Newark and Wilmington communities through a mix of projects and volunteer events. Over recent years, EWB-UD ReachOut has grown significantly in size. It now operates with its own set of leadership and members who dedicate their time specifically to our community-based initiatives. Currently, Reachout’s main project is to design and direct the construction of an outdoor play space at the Early Learning Center preschool in Newark Delaware. Additionally, Reachout organizes a variety of community service events for all EWB-UD members to participate in.

Early Learning Center Project

The Early Learning Center (ELC) is a childcare facility on the University of Delaware campus that provides children and their families with high quality care while serving as an early education research facility for university staff and students. In the Fall of 2017, EWB’s faculty advisor introduced the EWB-UD students to a potential project at ELC: to create a new outdoor play area. With Kim’s guidance, the students of EWB-UD joined a collaborative effort with the University of Delaware Landscape Architecture Department to create and implement a design. The motivation for this project was ELC’s desire to create a more interactive and modern outdoor play environment.

Shade and asymmetric pallet stage

After the project began, the first step was to determine the wants and needs of ELC. A team composed of EWB-UD and Landscape Architecture students performed multiple site visits in which they met with ELC faculty and surveyed the condition of possible locations for the proposed play space. These students also interviewed and observed ELC’s children to gain an understanding of their needs for a play space. After creating concepts and presenting them to the ELC staff for evaluation, the team chose a design consisting of asymmetric, multi-use pallet stages and shade sails. The pallet stage concept was chosen for its ability to act as a platform for a vast range of play styles, such as climbing, creative play, and lounging. Factors including safety for children of all ages and financial viability were also considered. The sail shade was chosen for its ability to protect both the children and stage from the elements.

Small pallet stage

The next step of the project was to research materials, create designs, form a budget, and determine the exact location for the play space. Once the design and budget was finalized, the EWB-UD and Landscape Architecture students worked with contractors, geotechnical engineers, and the staff at ELC to prepare for instillation. Due to complications related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the scope of the project was altered to include only the two pallet stages. The installation of these pallet stages was a success, and they are currently in use at ELC!



Service Events

Every Semester, our ReachOut team organizes a variety of service events for our members. These events allow EWB students to engage with and give back to their community while bonding with each other. Some of our past ReachOut volunteer events have included trail restorations, trash clean ups, the Longwood Gardens Rare Plant Auction, and Newark Bike/Walk to school week. EWB ReachOut has an especially strong partnership with White Clay Creak, where we recently adopted a trail! Our ReachOut team organizes trips to White Clay 2-3 times per semester for our members to help remove invasive plants, pickup trash, and maintain the trail. For more on our ReachOut events and how you can help, please contact us.

Reachout events and projects

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