It was a joyous return to campus in late August, as the 2020-2021 school year began, reuniting students, families, faculty and staff after many months apart following the transition to distance learning last March. As families arrived on campus, the sight of a new and exciting addition to our campus grounds greeted our students - a brand new playground area for our grade school students.
Thanks to the donors who participated in a targeted capital campaign, unrelated to our Annual Fund, as well as the combined efforts of some faculty, parents, and board members, the new playscape (including the addition of new fencing in the area that adds beauty and safety) was able to be installed and ready for students before the much-anticipated return to school.
Susan Eggers, 4th grade teacher, offered a faculty perspective on the motivation for the project:
“Children love to climb, and climbing strengthens the hands, improves coordination of arms and legs, and provides an element of risk that many children crave."
"Although our younger classes had climbing structures [geared toward a younger age group], our older students were missing out. They let their teachers know what they wanted and needed! Thus the idea of building a couple of dedicated climbing structures for older students began to take shape.”
A few parents and board members working on the campaign, together with some recommendations from an occupational therapist, worked in collaboration with teachers to select three play structures that would allow for a variety of movement and opportunities for imaginative play and social interaction. They also sought a company for the play structures whose designs and materials would be compatible with the values and aesthetics of our school. Mission accomplished. The final result has added beauty to our campus and brought so much joy to our students. Ms. Eggers adds, “We had no idea how popular the pieces would be, but saw immediately that [they] are used non-stop by the students at recess, with each class creating its own scenarios for their use -- was the swing a pirate ship? How fast can I race to the top of the climber?”
The school community is so grateful for the energy and tremendous effort put forth by all who worked on the playground campaign. We are also deeply grateful for the generosity of the donors who made it all possible!