Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Parents Purport Paint Job Creates Peaceful Playground





By Bret Liebendorfer
Columbus News - Columbus, OH

Working on their hands and knees, parent volunteers have been busy painting symbols and patterns they hope will upgrade the Norwich Elementary School playground.

The volunteers are working to turn the space into a Peaceful Playground, which aims to increase exercise and educational opportunities while decreasing bullying.

Examples of the new designs that will be painted before the start of the school year include a giant United States map, number grids, a letter walkway and a giant circle large enough to fit an entire class around.

Most games are noncompetitive and focus on a common goal for the group.

"For the kids that are the prime targets for bullies, this gives them something to do where they're not the loser," said Mary Chace, a parent of two children at Norwich and a member of the school's Wellness Committee.

Also, the program's cost of $1,000 plus paint is cheap compared to traditional playgrounds units which can cost $20,000 each.

"I want other PTOs to know that the program is inexpensive and this is something they can easily add to their playground," Chace said.