Custom-designed playground for P.S. 71

Students, faculty, and staff at P.S. 81 at 5550 Riverdale Avenue came up with this futuristic design for play equipment, after a brainstorming session with Out2Play architects. Photo courtesy of Out2Play

Out2Play, a non-profit that goes into schools and helps students, faculty, and administrators design new and exciting playgrounds for their students, is giving the Bronx a reason to celebrate this year. During the spring, summer and fall, Out2Play will install 12 new custom-designed playgrounds at schools around the Bronx.

The following Bronx schools will receive new playgrounds: P.S. 6, P.S. 62, P.S. 71, P.S. 81, P.S. 90, P.S. 103, P.S. 109, P.S. 112, P.S. 160, P.S. 186, P.S. 211, and P.S. 306.

Funding for these projects include support from Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and Councilmembers Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Helen Foster, Oliver Koppell, Joel Rivera, Larry Seabrook, and Jimmy Vacca.

“I think that many of the Bronx officials we have met are focused on both education and youth, and this ties in with their goals of making the educational system better,” said Out2Play executive director Andrea Wenner. “The council people have demonstrated that they are very willing to bring these projects into their districts. Because we also raise private monies as well, 100% of the council peoples’ money goes into the project and not overhead or administrative costs.”

Wenner said that some of the more popular features of the new playgrounds in the Bronx are basketball, kickball, hopscotch, jump-rope areas, jungle-gym slides, and monkey bars.

She also said that aside from the 12 custom playgrounds, which include input from the students at each of the schools, Out2Play has built 24 school playgrounds in the Bronx since its inception in September 2005.

This past fall, Out2Play, along with architects, students, parents and staff, let their imaginations run wild while dreaming up designs for their new playgrounds at each of the schools.

Now that all designs are complete, construction has begun and Out2Play’s team of contractors will work over the next several months to build bright new play spaces to the 12 Bronx locations.

Members of the Bronx’s city council delegation enthusiastically endorse Out2Play.

“Unfortunately, more and more of our children are becoming overweight and unhealthy,” said councilman Larry Seabrook. “Now, more than ever we must put children first and encourage physical activity. I am pleased to partner with Out 2 Play as they enrich the lives of our youth through play.”

Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo added: “I am proud to be part of this project that provides our children with much-needed play space. Through their unique process of engaging children in choosing their playground model, Out2Play offers a safe-haven that kids can call their own.”

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