YORK – The students at York Elementary School can now swing away at recess thanks to their own efforts and those of the Parents And Teachers Together organization.
PATT is a volunteer group of parents that helps out with various activities during the school year.
“We handle anything from fundraising and book fairs to setting up meals for the teachers who stay late for parent/teacher conferences,” PATT Coordinator Lindsey Eckert said.
Every year, the YES students do a major fundraiser in the fall. They sell things like cookie dough and various gift items.
That money has helped pay for things like the new smart boards that now occupy each of the classrooms at YES.
Last fall, in addition to selling cookie dough, students also gave out pamphlets that sold everything from gift wrap and little knick knacks to chocolates.
They weren’t expecting to raise a whole lot of extra money through that pamphlet but they ended up doubling their normal amount, Eckert said.
In fact, they had enough to buy YES some new playground equipment.
“The items that parents in the PATT group had most often heard requests for were swings,” Eckert said.
So each side of the playground at YES got a brand new set of swings.
However, the PATT group wanted to make sure that every student is able to enjoy the rush of wind and the thrill that comes from swinging through the air.
“We wanted to add some items that were handicap accessible so all of the students can enjoy recess time together,” Eckert said.
The items they chose were an omnispin spinner and an oodle swing.
The omnispin spinner is basically a safer version of the old merry-go-round.
It has high-backed seats that the children can sit in so that when they swing around, they don’t go flying out.
The oodle swing is a safer version of a tire swing and can fit between four and six kids at a time.
Both of them have transfer points for children from a wheelchair to the swing or spinner.
All of the new items have been overwhelmingly popular with the students. Every day at recess or lunch, there are lines for the swings and the spinner. Playground supervisors even have to make time limits so that everyone gets a chance to play on the new things.
The students have several people and businesses in the community who they can thank for getting that new equipment installed in time for them to use it before the end of they year.
The PATT group thought at first that they were going to be able to install the equipment themselves. However, when it looked like it wasn’t going to work out before the end of the school year, several members had the idea to go to businesses in the community for help.
Jensen Lumber donated their time to install the equipment; York Equipment donated the use of their auger; and Mead Lumber donated the use of one of their forklifts to help unload all of the items off the delivery truck.
“Without the support of the community, it wouldn’t have been possible,” Eckert said.
By Rachael Ruybalid Staff Reporter at the New York Times