Fort Yuma Rotary christens new school playground
The Fort Yuma Rotary Club held a belated “ribbon-cutting” ceremony recently for a new playground they financed and constructed at H.L. Suverkrup Elementary School.
The result of one-and-a-half days of hard work (after rain forced the club to reschedule its construction), the facility is the latest in a yearly tradition that has seen eight other schools get brand-new playgrounds.
“It’s just a benefit to the community,” said rotary member Michael Landin, who oversaw the project. “We do it every year. We raise money all year to build school projects, give out scholarships, just to support the community in any way we can.”
The pirate-themed park, which is exclusively for kindergarteners, features a slide, a rope bridge and peep-holes shaped like cannons.
The main attraction, though, seemed to be the colorfully painted truck tires that kids could climb and jump on.
H.L. Suverkrup Prinicipal Trish Valentin said that before they had this special area set aside just for them, kindergarteners had to play with the rest of the students in the school’s main playground, which posed some risks.
“This really provides a space for our younger children to play safely,” said Valentin. “That equipment over there has some high jungle-gyms and such where we’ve had kids falling and getting injured, so this is really a better place for them to play.”
Alissa Guevara, who does professional development for Gowan Science Academy, said that the new playground is a lot more convenient for teachers, too.
“It helps teachers’ lives so much, because we know exactly where they are, instead of this big playground, especially at the beginning of the year,” she said. “They’re also just so excited to have a place where they can play with their friends, you know, when they’re on the big playground with everybody else mixed in it’s like ‘where’d my friend go?’”
After the kids sat down and yelled a big “thank you” to the Fort Yuma Rotary Club in unison, they rushed over pea gravel to break in their new playground equipment.
In addition to the Fort Yuma Rotary Club’s contributions, DPE Construction donated the pea gravel, Ahern Rentals donated the construction equipment, Bose received and stored the jungle gym and Pat and Karen Griffin donated the tractor tires.
“Just watching how they all really were working, not only just the building of it, but also the year-long fundraising that they did to help fund it and be able to build it, it was really amazing that they put in the time to do that for our kids,” said Valentin.
A KINDERGARTENER SLIDES IN STYLE on H.L. Suverkrup’s new jungle gym.