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El Paso County Colorado District 49

New playground keeps kids active

Woodmen Hills Elementary School installed a new play area and playground equipment in October, allowing the school to further meet Falcon School District 49’s wellness policy.”The new equipment encourages more climbing and physical activity,” said Monty Lammers, WHES principal.”Students need 30 minutes of active time per day,” Lammers said. Before the new structures were added, fourth and fifth grades were not getting a second recess, he said.”Now there’s enough space that we can put two grade levels (together) at once,” Lammers said. All grade levels play for 20 minutes at lunchtime and again for 15 minutes in the afternoon.The kids still have the older play structure that sits alongside the new one, which includes a large play area, a rock and rope climbing area and a sand pit where students can excavate dinosaur bones.Lammers said he began planning the project last spring with input from students.”I like to climb on the rock and hang on the spider web,” said WHES fifth grader Savanna Martinez. She said she likes the new playground better because it is built for climbing. “That’s the fun part,” she said.”It’s awesome,” said Colby Gilliss, another fifth grader. “It’s made for the kids.”Lammers said the Woodmen Hills Elementary Parent Teacher Association originally planned to pay for the new equipment, but then the district approved funding for the playground improvements. The equipment cost $25,000 plus civil engineering and permit costs.Instead of buying the playground equipment, the PTA purchased document cameras and projectors for every classroom.”It means using less paper, and the kids can see what the teachers are doing,” Lammers said. “We have such a wonderful PTA.”

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