One local elementary school is seeking help from elected officials to provide a playground for their students.
The Bronx Delta School on Hollywood Avenue in Throggs Neck is a new public school which opened in fall of 2014.
The school’s current enrollment consists of kindergarten students at the present time, but will grow to house 290 to 350 students when grades 1 – 5 are added.
Currently, the school yard is just a large concrete paved area, equipped with a few basketball hoops. But Bronx Delta principal Daniel Racic has a vision for a playground for his young students.
“We’re lucky as a school, we have the physical space,” said Racic.
And although he is grateful there is such ample recreational room for the kids to run around in, he would like to see something more done with it.
The vision for the space revolves around playground equipment like slides and climbing apparatuses, but also includes artificial turf to play on, as well as interactive drawings, such as concrete-like maps that could be used for classroom activities.
Racic said he has been working with the principals from the Urban Institute of Mathematics, Urban Assembly Academy of Civic Engagement, Mott Hall Community School to develop ideas for a play space that would appeal to all ages.
Adding playground equipment to the school yard would create more opportunity for the young students to use their imagination and allow them to play with a purpose, said Racic.
“It lets them chose what kind of adventure they want to pursue that day,” he said. “Slides can turn into a Ninja-Turtle sewer; a climbing structure can turn into Mount Everest.”
But a completely renovated school yard doesn’t come cheap, said Racic, although there are ways to get parts of the equipment for a smaller budget.
The school, located on the I.S.192 Campus, is in the process of putting together formal applications to apply for grants from local elected officials, said Racic, who went to Community Board 10 to ask for their support.
The board was sympathetic to the students without play equipment, and voted to send a letter to local officials asking for their help to fund the playground.
Board 10 Youth Services and Education chair Bob Bieder said supporting the new school was a ‘no brainer’, and that the board is hoping local elected officials step up.
“We’re hoping all of them come together and say ‘lets do the right thing here,’” said Bieder. “You really need the support of local elected officials to make the school the best it can be.”
Play is an important part of the learning process, said Bieder, and kids should have ample opportunities to get outside, get fresh air and develop healthy habits.
“That’s an important part of education, we all grew up with that,” he said.
Bieder said the kids at Bronx Delta School deserve an encouraging and safe place to play.
“There’s nothing there now except a place to scrape their knees.”