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    by Eric Gendron

    YORKTOWN, N.Y. — A $75,000 bullet aid grant has been awarded to the Lakeland Central School District as a result of a three-way agreement between Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state Senate and Assembly, according to State Sen. Greg Ball (R-District 40).

    The funds will be used to build a new playground at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School.

    The current playground holds a maximum of 75 children, but the school enrollment is more than 600. The grant to construct the new playground is aimed to keep kids active and to fight childhood obesity, according to a news release.

    “We currently only have one very small playground for over 600 students. In 2011 we started fundraising for a new swing set and playground,” Patricia Mcilvenny-Moore, principal of Ben Franklin Elementary, said in the release. “We are very excited to receive this grant. Senator Ball does so many wonderful things for our schools and we are very appreciative.”

    Ball said he hopes the playground will curb childhood obesity.

    “Childhood obesity is an epidemic that we are just beginning to grapple with the reality and consequences of. Physical conditioning is a critical component of a broader education and these early building blocks set the stage for future health. I’m proud to work with this great school to help counteract the ever-growing problem of childhood obesity and diabetes before it starts. This playground will play a large role in that, for this great community” said Sen. Ball in the release. “I am glad I was able to help Ben Franklin Elementary School get this funding and will continue to work for schools all across my district to do the same.” (ARTICLE)