You know that feeling you get sitting on a swing, when the wind blows in your face and your heart jumps a little as you go higher than you expected? If you haven’t experienced it lately, you can probably just think back to your school days and recess. Unfortunately, it’s a feeling the children at Hope-Hill Elementary have missed with the absence of a playground.
I’m happy to report that’s no longer the case! And, I’m not the only one excited about the addition of a new play space. Fifth grader Khara says “I love the swings. I sit back and relax.” Daniel, a third grader, has more than one favorite part, “I like the slide because it is fun. The monkey bars are fun because I can climb on them and do flips.”
I love to hear that students are getting some exercise and enjoying time outside but please be careful with those flips, Daniel!
Space for a playground is limited at Hope-Hill since the school is adjacent to the Martin Luther King, Jr. City of Atlanta Parks & Recreation property. A playground on the MLK property was removed in 2009 due to age and safety concerns.
While the city worked to find funding for a replacement playground, site improvements were made and a parking lot was added. The City of Atlanta was able to secure Community Development Block Grant funds and also used City of Atlanta Park Improvement dollars for the project.
APS is thrilled that Hope-Hill students and visitors will be able to enjoy the playground along with neighborhood residents and the general public. Even big kids (Hope-Hill alumni) were excited about this news. Former Hope-Hill student and now my current APS Communications leader Jill Strickland remembers spending many days as a child on the old Hope-Hill playground. She was overjoyed to find out the playground was back! She knows, like I do, that safe, well-designed outside play areas are important to helping students develop emotionally and socially.
“It’s great!” – Jeremiah, 5th grade
“Playing at the old field was boring. I like the playground because it is fun and there are more activities to do. We get more exercise on the playground.” – Janijah, 3rd grade
“All of the games on the playground are so cool!” – Robin, 5th grade
“My friends and I make an obstacle course on the new playground.” – Ishmael, 3rd grade
“I love the whole entire park. It is fun for big and little kids.” – Zatroya, 5th grade
“Awesome! Everyone can have fun on it.” – Marquis, 5th grade
Thanks again to our friends at the City of Atlanta Department of Parks & Recreation!