Wolfle Elementary gets a playful addition

KINGSTON — Don’t be surprised if the new playground games at Wolfle Elementary put a new spring in principal Mary Jane Fraser’s step.

Fraser demonstrated how one of the games would work Saturday afternoon by performing a not-too-shabby hopscotch across the playground’s concrete.

Fraser and a few other volunteers were at Wolfle Saturday afternoon to paint new games on the concrete at the school.

The games are from a company called “The Peaceful Playground,” which provides stencils and explanations to games schools can use to improve teamwork, cooperation and conflict resolution.

“We just wanted to add something that’s fun and engaging for the kids,” Fraser said as some volunteers touched up the paint on a nearby game. “And if they’re academic boosts, too... why not?”

There are eight games, which are designed like four-square squares or hopscotch grids. One such game has kids hop along the playground, which is painted with letters and numbers, according to certain combinations — like their name or address. The reinforcement of letters and numbers, Fraser said, certainly doesn’t hurt the school’s academic emphasis.

Fraser said the games will be used by the kids in recess, but can be used during PE classes, too.

Some Parent-Teacher Association members and kids came out Saturday to help lay out the grids, which were soon brightened by neatly-drawn squares of red, lime green, and yellow, among other colors.

“We have some wild colors,” said PTA president Deidre Duffy, who has a pair of children attending Wolfle. “That’s my favorite part of the project.”

While the project didn’t draw a large crowd of volunteers, Duffy is happy to see people get involved with the school, which is an ever-growing tradition at Wolfle Elementary.

“This is our third big project,” said Duffy, who added that volunteers also helped install the big playground in the back of the school and the smaller, preschool playground in the front of it.

“It’s a neat joint project,” Duffy said. “They said they needed it and we’re trying to help give it to them.”

Duffy helped supervise several kids, who eagerly took up paint brushes to give a hand.

While the paint was drying, the kids did what could be expected — they played on the playground.

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