-written by Faith DuBois, RiseVT Staff

If they haven’t already discovered it yet, children returning to the Franklin Central School this year will find even more opportunities for activity with the addition of the new playground, which was made possible through the generosity of community donations including time, work and fundraising events, as well as grant monies, including a significant contribution from RiseVT.

Work to replace the existing 25-year-old structure began on June 17th and the Grand Opening was held the day of its completion, June 28th. During that time the prior wooden structure was removed, certified wood chips were laid down for ground cover and new equipment was installed. This consists of a climbing wall, monkey bars, a hurricane spinner, and other climbing areas, which Principal Joyce Hakey noted will promote upper body strength and gross motor skills. She shared that “the design also includes a pod walk, sit and spin, a nest swing, a spring balance board, and several slides, all promoting balance, flexibility, and core strength” and that “there is also a transportable Gaga Ball pit, promoting hand-eye coordination, reaction time, and body awareness, that can be used both outside and include during inclement weather”.

While the children may not realize the myriad physical and emotional benefits they’re gaining while at play, there’s one unifying benefit they will all likely recognize – the feelings of joy and excitement that were apparent at the Grand Opening as they sprinted to the playground after the ribbon was cut and those that will continue as they return again and again. These feelings and the memories they evoke will hopefully bolster them throughout their lives, now and for many years to come!

Photos Courtesy of Franklin Central School Staff