Community

Volunteers spruce up the grounds at KMS

Kingston Middle School 8th graders Ryan Daniels, right, and Jameson Bruce work with parent volunteer Deren Hirsch to dig a pit to install a regulation size sand volleyball court at the school. Thirty-four volunteers came out to work on the court and a landscaping project in the school’s parking lot Wednesday. - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
Kingston Middle School 8th graders Ryan Daniels, right, and Jameson Bruce work with parent volunteer Deren Hirsch to dig a pit to install a regulation size sand volleyball court at the school. Thirty-four volunteers came out to work on the court and a landscaping project in the school’s parking lot Wednesday.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

KINGSTON — Students at Kingston Middle School have a new place to play, thanks to a donation from a national nonprofit and the work of local volunteers.

This week the school received a $2,000 gift card for the Home Depot in Poulsbo, provided by KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization that gives money to schools and other groups to build activity spaces for kids. School officials are using the grant and the help of volunteers to replace beauty bark in medians in the school’s parking lot and to install a new outdoor volleyball court.

“I just see it as a positive way for kids to interact,” KMS principal Susan Wistrand said of the volleyball court. “I wanted something that would mix groups. This is the age when they’re looking to do stuff together.”

Students are already using the new court to interact, as many of the 34 volunteers who came out to work at the school on Wednesday are students at KMS.

Wistrand said she was inspired to use the grant money for the volleyball court after seeing how popular an outdoor court at Poulsbo Elementary School had become.

“I knew it was a huge hit with the kids,” she said of the Poulsbo court.

KMS assistant principal Bill Breakey said North Kitsap School District officials applied for the grant in part because the school’s landscaping was deteriorating and due for replacement.

“(NKSD Lead Groundsman) Julie Marfut thought Kingston Middle School could benefit from a beautification project,” Breakey said.

Breakey also said the new beauty bark at the front of the building will demonstrate that school officials are serious about what goes on inside and outside of the school.

“This is a learning community,” he said. “And to be able to have a curb appeal that says, ‘We’re serious about learning, we’re serious about education,’ I think that first look says a lot about what goes on here. It’s the people that make Kingston Middle School special, but you have one time to make a good first impression.”

To complete the landscaping and volleyball court projects, KMS used about 70 cubic yards of beauty bark, and 70 cubic yards of sand, sold wholesale to Home Depot from Vern’s Topsoil. John Ferguson of the Home Depot led the effort to install the volleyball court, which sits at the back of the school next to the baseball diamond.

In addition, volunteers received food and refreshments donated by American Marine Bank, Kingston IGA, Kingston Subway, The Cup and Muffin, Kingston Albertsons and Bremerton Pepsi.

“We are humbled and blessed with their generosity,” Breakey said.

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