August 16, 2017
The recess bell rang and quickly kids’ feet were outside, crunching over the warm bark to climb, slide, swing, twist, turn and giggle on their new playground at Community Country Day School. Outside voices were in full force as regular education students let out all their energy alongside students in a partial hospitalization treatment program. Operations are mission-based with a focus on education, guidance, relationships and success. Community Country Day School provides a place where students from a variety of adverse backgrounds can play and learn in a warm, family-like setting.
The Erie Community Foundation awarded a $14,000 grant to Community Country Day School for the purchase and installation of a new playground. Prior to this, students were limited to spending recess in the gym. Activities like dodge ball and basketball were controlled by older, athletically-dominant students. Now, students of all ages and abilities enjoy recess in an outdoor play space with no barriers.
To the students, the playground is so much more than just somewhere to enjoy recess. “This playground is a push for the students to be on their best behavior, because if they are not, their recess time on the playground might be revoked,” said Angela Collins, Executive Director.
The playground allows students a healthy opportunity to socialize and learn from each other in ways not easily taught in the classroom. Counselors accompany students to the playground to encourage them to make friends in a low-stress environment.
“It is a wonderful feeling when you ask for help and there are people like those at The Erie Community Foundation willing to see the need; this could be life-changing for our kids. It means a lot that The Erie Community Foundation believes in the school and what we do,” said Collins.