Erskine Elementary unveils 'dugout' honoring school's namesake

·2 min read

Dec. 4—ANDERSON — This week, Erskine Elementary School unveiled the dugout, a reward for students who demonstrate positive behaviors.

At the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, Principal Kathy McCord introduced the idea to fellow staff. Due to COVID-19, the project was put on hold.

"We've been trying to get it together, and then COVID (happened)," said Marisa Little, dean of Erskine Elementary. "During COVID, (we spent a lot of time) getting the room ready."

Students who earn 100 "starbucks" can redeem them for a trip to the dugout. To earn starbucks, students must demonstrate positive actions. Additionally, students who receive a positive office referral will be able to visit the dugout.

Positive office referrals started about three years ago, during the 2018-19 school year, to reward students who had done something extraordinary, according to McCord.

"Now that's a golden ticket to come here," she said. "We had one little girl who found money and brought it to the office. It's things that show character."

Featured in the room are various chairs for students to lounge in, a kids' pinball machine, a basketball arcade game, books, board games and more.

The room is also equipped with a mini fridge filled with drinks and snacks for students to have during their time in the dugout.

Aside from some decorations and furniture pieces that were purchased using student activity money, all of the items in the dugout were donated. The parent club at Erskine helped obtain a lot of the items for the room, according to McCord.

The room also has an abundance of empty picture frames scattered throughout.

"We hope to take pictures of kids that have earned the right to come here," said Julie Hoyt, the school's social worker. "Then when new kids come, they can see who's been here."

McCord expressed that they would eventually like to expand the room and add more.

Since the school announced the dugout Wednesday, there has been an abundance of buzz about it from students.

The dugout got its name in honor of Carl Erskine, a former Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher from Anderson. The school is also named after Erskine and is on land that used to belong to the Erskine family.

"He's our namesake," McCord said. "We want to embrace our hometown hero."

Follow Kylee Mullikin on Twitter @kyleemullikinhb or call

765-640-4250.

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