Hundreds of hours of sweat, laughter and dedication produced two completely transformed playgrounds for 3 local schools, as Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) teamed up with our staff and other community members to commemorate Make a Difference Day.
A brightly painted playground is not only more engaging but it is safer. In our partner schools, Playworks’ Program Coordinators strategically map out each playground to make sure, for example, that ball games aren’t running through the areas where other kids like to jump rope. In this way, kids feel safer and there is less conflict. When kids understand where to play each game and they can clearly see the zones and lines – there is less stress, less conflict, and ultimately more playing!
Split between project sites at Lincoln Elementary (Richmond, CA) and Community United Elementary (Oakland, CA), the two service groups began their day with classic Playworks warm-up games; which helped volunteers in both locations get to know each other and reminded them why play is so critically important to kids’ social and physical development. After a massive clean-up effort with brooms and dustpans, we taped down boundary lines and finally got to painting. Eighty gallons of paint, piles of supplies and 5 hours later, two average urban playgrounds went from grey and gravelly to bright and engaging!
At the end of the day, not only did both groups of PG&E employees and community members walk away with smiles and satisfaction, but (even better) 800+ students got a completely new playground to enjoy that next Monday. Play on!
Visit the Playworks East Bay facebook page to see more photos of the transformation.