School is officially out for summer, and students of the Kenneth C. Coombs School are ready to play.
On Wednesday, June 25, students, staff and faculty celebrated the groundbreaking of a new therapeutic playground for students ages 3 to 5. The playground, which will be completed for next school year, is designed to support purposeful play for students of all learning levels and abilities. It will be open for use by the community outside of school hours.
“Even though you might think it [play] is just fun, it’s a lot of work, too,” principal Elaine M. Pender said to the students at the groundbreaking ceremony. “It helps you grow strong and know how to get along with other children and work out problems . . . so we know that your play is very important and we want to support that.”
Many groups and individuals in the community have contributed to the process, she added, thanking the Community Preservation Committee for its approval of $100,000 in CPA funds for the playground, as well as the “Mashpee Plays Together” committee, the Mashpee Kiwanis, the school committee, Cape Cod Business Partners, the Mashpee Department of Public Works, family and school staff members, among others for their planning and fundraising efforts.
Students performed a “green earth” song in honor of the groundbreaking, followed by the reading of an original poem by 2nd grader Emmalyn P. Gorman.
“Go outside and play, let’s play today,” she read. “The Mashpee Plays Together playground is a great place to play. We can run and jump and bike, and climb and swing alike. We can get stronger each day if we go outside and play. Go outside and play, let’s play today.”
Children cheered, “Hip, hip, hooray!” in unison and blew bubbles as a group of students and teachers dug the first shovelfuls of dirt. They filled a jar with dirt as a gift for Ms. Pender, signifying new beginnings and endings at the school, as she will begin a new principal position at Orleans Elementary School in the fall.