(Grand Island, NY) – New York State Senator Chris Jacobs announced that he has obtained $100,000 in state funding for the Grand Island Central School District. The monies will support the purchase and installation of a brand new ADA compliant playground at Charlotte Sidway Elementary School.
“The benefits from a healthy physical education program are well documented and range from increased classroom performance to developing better socialization skills and longer healthier life spans for our children,” said Senator Chris Jacobs. “I am very pleased that with this funding, the Grand Island Central School District can perform a complete reconstruction of the older and potentially unsafe playground so these benefits can be extended our younger students, including those with physical disabilities.”
The current playground at Sidway is twenty-five years old, and the wear and tear associated with its age has created additional expenses for the school district in recent years as various pieces of equipment needed replacing. A committee of faculty, staff and parents was formed to explore the possibility of building a new playground. The firm GameTime was selected to move forward under a community build model in which employees from the company work with local stakeholders to complete the new playground consisting of one section for students age 3-5 and one for age 5-12.
“The support and leadership demonstrated by Senator Jacobs with the Sidway playground project is outstanding,” said Grand Island School Superintendent Brian Graham. “The Sidway community has been very generous, contributing over $50,000 over the past year to support the playground. Senator Jacobs’ funding will make this project a reality much sooner than we anticipated, enabling Sidway students and everyone in our community to utilize the new inclusive designed playground this year.”
While the amount of community participation will determine whether the playground is completed over two consecutive weekends or perhaps one long weekend, school officials are hoping for completion in either September or October of this year.
“Providing our prekindergarten and elementary school children with the time and space to be healthy and active at school is so important to their learning outcomes and quality of life while in our care,” said Sidway Elementary Principal Denise Dunbar. “We are grateful for Senator Jacobs’ support of our efforts to assure our outdoor spaces are accessible, safe and fun for all children,” she concluded.