Surrounded by Plainfield Schools administrators and board members, elementary students cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening of The Imagination Lab

Vision, strategic plans, annual goals - such business-y terms. In Plainfield, we like to imagine. And a couple of years ago, a little bit of imagining began a journey that led to yesterday's Community Launch of The Imagination Lab.

Many people already know that The Imagination Lab is located in the space once occupied by a swimming pool and locker rooms. It's hard to imagine (pun may-or-may-not-be intended) the transformation required to get from a school pool to the space we celebrated yesterday. The chlorine smell is gone; the feeling of being enclosed by four cinder block walls has been replaced with wide open windows and bright, brain-stimulating colors. But most importantly, the space is now being used to empower students (and teachers!) to dream, to create, to make mistakes and even messes. And of course, to imagine. 

Most of us no longer work in isolation. Many jobs, and even careers, no longer have one "right" way to do things. Sometimes we have to tinker or just start tackling a problem, and in many aspects of life, it's okay to make mistakes. Especially when we learn from them. 

So while we celebrate The Imagination Lab as a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility, what we really celebrate is a transformation in how we are helping children learn. We still have to administer the tests that are mandated by higher levels, and we still have to ensure that students are learning. But it's no longer rote learning. We want students to do more thinking, less memorizing. More problem solving and collaborating, less guessing. More exploring. And yes, more imagining.

As Mr. Olinger and Dr. Giesting said in their comments, The Imagination Lab is possible because we live in a community where people say YES. Businesses, civic groups, town officials, residents - they all said yes. 

Hendricks Regional Health, Duke Energy, Ray's Trash, GearUp Cyclery, Rotary, the American Legion and Geo Group, as well as Plainfield Tri Kappa and the Plainfield Community Schools Legacy Foundation - they all said yes. Kohls Cares said yes. And our friends and neighbors said yes.

Volunteers have been generous with their time and their knowledge, and we still encourage you to volunteer if you have some time to share; you can learn more by going here:

So thank you, once again, to a Plainfield community that says yes to new ideas, that supports one another, and that values its children. Thank you for trusting our imagination, and for caring enough about our children, that you said yes.