Out2Play has cut the ribbon on yet another schoolyard to enhance playtime and recreational activities for students of the Bronx.
On Thursday, October 1 students from P.S. 160, along with faculty and staff, Councilman Larry Seabrook, members of the Thorne family, and representatives of Out2Play, gathered in the small schoolyard to celebrate the ribbon cutting of two brand new play spaces.
“This is the most exciting time of year for our organization,” said Andrea Wenner, executive director of Out2Play. “We work all year long on designs and it is really rewarding to see the kids running around and playing.”
Through a partnership of public and private funding, provided by Seabrook and the Thorne family, Out2Play was able to transform the schoolyards that were once barren and used as a parking lots into engaging places for kids to play.
“I think this is a beautiful and fantastic playground, and it was put together so quickly and wonderfully done,” said Margie Thorne.
The larger schoolyard added a blacktop field with a track, new slides, jungle gym, hopscotch court and more. The smaller interior yard added a jump zone, chess table and other blacktop games.
Both yards added ADA-accessible equipment and games. This was an important part of the project requested by the school’s administration to address the school’s population of disabled students.
“In the interior patio we have an open space at the chess table to allow for a wheel chair, a low hoop for basketball, and a hand cycler for upper body work,” said Sarah Gilbert, project administrator for Out2Play. “The large yard has access ramps to the equipment. We were committed to making sure the play space is for all students.”
Showing their appreciation, students presented the Thorne family, Seabrook and Out2Play with letters and plaques.
According to Principal Lori Baker-Armond, the students have become less confrontational and have demonstrated more of a desire for outdoor activities.
P.S. 160 is one of three schools in Seabrook’s district to receive new yards designed by Out2Play, a non-profit organization dedicated to building or refurbishing playgrounds in the New York City public school system.
“One of the things our children need is recreational space. Obesity and diabetes are big issues in the Bronx and we need to look at the situation and figure out how we can get out children to come out and play,” said Seabrook. “Out2Play has done an impressive job in my district, designing parks to fit the needs of the children in the community.”
©2009 Community News Group