Dunloe & Groveport get playground upgrades


 Messenger photo by Rick Palsgrove
 Eagle Scout candidate Charlie Angell (left) and Dunloe kindergarten teacher Jennifer Myers inspect the installation of the new swing set at Dunloe Elementary.

Kids will have an improved place to play this school year during recess at Dunloe and Groveport elementary schools as businesses, parents, teachers, and communities came together for the greater good.

Dunloe Elementary

"I knew the school needed some help," said Eagle Scout candidate Charlie Angell, a sophomore at Groveport Madison High School and a former student at Dunloe, about his old school’s playground.

Angell worked with Union Savings Bank, American Electric Power, Buckeye Ready Mix Concrete, the Dunloe PTO, Dunloe kindergarten teacher Jennifer Myers, Dunloe Principal Jane Curry, and parents to help install a new swing set with 10 swings on the school’s playground.

According to Myers, the project cost $6,000 with the Dunloe PTO and Union Savings Bank splitting the cost. She said the swing set is the first of a two stage project to improve the playground. The second stage, which will cost around $25,000, will feature a fire truck slide and a web climber. She said fund raising efforts for the second stage will include a t-shirt sale this fall with Union Savings pledging to match what the school can raise.

Curry noted many schools have eliminated old style swing sets because of the potential safety hazards. However, she said, the new Dunloe swings are newly designed to be safer for kids. Myers said the swings feature an anti-wrap chain so the swing cannot go over the top bar and that the swings are designed to not go as high as traditional swings. Plus, she said, a soft mat will be in place under the swings.

Myers said kids need a safe place to exercise during the school day.

"The students need some place to play so they can refocus as well as interact with each other. They do better in the classroom when they have some good play time," said Myers. "They will love this playground."

"We’re thrilled with the playground," added Curry. "We can’t wait for the kids to enjoy it."

Tom Klacik, assistant vice president at Union Savings Bank, said a future goal is to help the school with its library.

Groveport Elementary

The Groveport PTO received a $5,000 Loew’s Toolbox for Education grant that enabled the installation of three new pieces of playground equipment at Groveport Elementary designed especially for special needs students, but which can also be used by students in grades K-2, according to Groveport PTO President Wendy Harder.

"We’re a district that doesn’t have a lot of money," said Harder. "We wanted to give back to the school. We wanted to give something to the younger kids and also get something the special needs kids could play on. We try to do what we can a little at a time as we can afford it. This building (Groveport Elementary) means a lot to me."

Harder said the Groveport Youth Athletic Association helped dig the holes for the equipment as well as helped assemble the pieces. She added teachers and community members also gave a helping hand. Anderson Concrete donated the cement to support the equipment.

Groveport Elementary Principal Mary Schroeder appreciated the Groveport PTO’s efforts and the grant from Loew’s.

"It’s nice to have new, safe playground equipment, not just for the students at the school, but for the whole community. This school is a centerpiece in the village and the playground is used by many people in the community," said Schroeder.

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