Meadowview unveils playground made possible through grant

Published 8:38 pm Monday, September 10, 2012

Fourth graders from Meadowview elementary enjoy the new Sky Runner on the playground, which provides children the opportunity to gain upper body strength. Two new features on the playground were provided by a grant through the Strategic Health Alliance. From left, Tarralyn Maul, Norris Frith, Samantha Burt, Terence Campbell and Shania Black all play on the Sky Runner. -- Ashley Johnson

In a world full of dieting trends and self-help books that teach and urge others how to lose weight, The Strategic Health Alliance in Alabama is pushing an old school mentality. They teach the more children run and play, the healthier they are.

The SHA, part of the Alabama Department of Public Health, allocated $6,000 in grant funds to Meadowview Elementary School to enhance their playground equipment, building on the mentality of making exercise fun.

“The great thing about that playground is that not only does it service so many students at the school and it is utilized for their P.E. program but it is also open to the community for community use,” Stacey Adams, communities coordinator for the SHA said. “That is really what we like to see is school systems and the community partnering together so that kids have a place to play not only during school hours, but also after school and on the weekends.”

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The elementary school brought in the vendor for the playground equipment, and then asked how they could get the most for their money, according to Meadowview’s media-specialist Glenda Davis.

Davis, along with the school’s reading coach Tracy Plumber, were the grant writers for the project.

“We got the supplier to come out and suggest some things for our playground that would be good to add to what we already have and this is what they suggested,” Davis said about the seesaw and Sky Runner they were able to purchase with the funding.

Both the seesaw and the Sky Runner aide in bringing children balance, strength and muscle building exercises, all while the children are playing.

“I think it adds some other equipment that will give the kids upper body strength and help with balance, and it is open to the neighborhood, so this neighborhood will benefit from anything we add,” Davis said.

Adams said she thought the school did a great job purchasing equipment with the funds they were given and making the playground even better.

“The neat thing about the equipment that they selected is for older children.” Adams said. “They had a great playground already, but they enhanced it even more for the whole community.”