Work Hard, Have Fun, and Be kind Every Day

Central Elementary School Creed: Work Hard, Have Fun, and Be kind Every Day.

Close your eyes. Imagine your younger self in grade school. What are you doing? You are probably either at recess or playing in the gym during PE right? Now I want you to close your eyes again and picture a school completely landlocked (no grass around), a very small and broken playground and no gym. This is Central Elementary School. Not only is the playground small and outdated, but the current structures are not age appropriate due to the entire district transitioning from grade schools to neighborhood schools. Fourth grade students are playing on play equipment built for Kindergarten students. Central Elementary School has the highest number of accident reports in the district due to the number of injuries that occur on the playground equipment. They currently have no gym and rely on the small blacktop outside and small, broken and outdated play equipment for kids to play on. The school cannot build a gym because it is up close to two roads and houses directly behind it.

State funds have slowly been decreasing over the years and without the assistance of school bonds, Guthrie Public Schools District as a whole has been neglected. Because of the neglect, more money from the bond had to be devoted to the other schools for basic necessities like: repairing 15 year old roofs, replacing 40 year old heating and air units, and general maintenance on 60-70 year old buildings. There have been no room for playground equipment enhancements. The school was built in 1924. The swing set was built in 1929. A climbing structure/slide was built in 1990. A play car/train was put in around 1976. This means that the only neighborhood playground within a 15 minute walk has not had a new piece of equipment in 29 years. The 2018-2019 School Year Central Elementary School has put in 19 work orders to bandage the current playground equipment so the kids can get their suggested 60 minutes of play each day and have had over 12 injury reports on the equipment.

We are striving to create a time for family, not just a time for recess. Playgrounds are now built to withstand years of play especially since most companies offer lifetime warranties. This playground would not only have an impact on the current children attending, but will have an impact on their children as well. There is no way to measure the impact of a playground to a child. There is nothing quantitative to show. But we hope that by this playground, we can create an opportunity for dad and a daughter to play on a Sunday morning. School playgrounds have a significant impact on every development aspect of children’s lives. Playgrounds optimize learning during and after school hours and should be viewed as a community resource just like schools, museums, libraries and public safety. With a 77% free and reduced rate and lack of parental involvement within the school… we are working to change that through what kids need: play.

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