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    YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. – The current playground at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Yorktown can hold 75 of the schools 600-plus students at one time.

    Simply put, the numbers don’t quite match up.

    It is that train of thought that went into the Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Senate and Assembly’s three-way agreement to award the Lakeland Central School District a $75,000 grant to help build the school a new, bigger playground.

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

    Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) recently announced the grant and discussed the benefits it will bring to the elementary school’s youth.

    “Childhood obesity is an epidemic that we are just beginning to grapple with the reality and consequences of,” he said. “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.”

    Ball said the equipment of the new playground would help prevent childhood obesity by keeping kids active. The “Play On” project at Ben Franklin Elementary School promotes vigorous activity during recess, and this playground figures to become an important fixture in that program in the near future. New equipment will help improve upper body strength, core muscles, cardio and even balance on some of the obstacles.

    “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,” Ball said. (ARTICLE)