Fort Yuma Ro­tary chris­tens new school play­ground

Yuma Sun - - NEWS - BY JOHN MARINELLI @ANACTUALJOHN

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.

Buy this photo at Yu­maSun.com PHOTO BY JOHN MARINELLI/YUMA SUN

A KINDERGARTENER SLIDES IN STYLE on H.L. Su­verkrup’s new jun­gle gym.

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