Ossining Receives Funds for New School Playground

Sen. Harckham with students and Dr. Sanchez, superintendent of Ossining schools, at the playground ribbon cutting. Credit: Office of State Sen. Pete Harckham / Tom Staudter

New York State Senator Pete Harckham attended a special ribbon cutting ceremony at the Roosevelt Elementary School today to commemorate the opening of a new playground made possible by a $160,000 state grant he secured for the Ossining Union Free School District.

Joining Harckham at the ribbon cutting were a large group of fifth grade students, plus Dr. Ray Sanchez, superintendent of the Ossining schools, and Dr. Nicole Nover, principal of the Roosevelt Elementary School.

“Classroom time is important for student success, as is outdoor time during the school day, so students can be physically active and socialize,” said Harckham. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to see students enjoying the new playground that we are able to secure the funds for, and appreciate the work by the leaders in the Ossining schools for seeing this project through.”

Harckham added that what makes this particular playground project special is that two years ago Roosevelt fifth graders chose the structure by vote of the student council from a pair of design options.

Prior to the new playground and its eye-catching equipment, there were no physical structures for students to use at the playground behind the school, other than a basketball court. The new playground equipment is age-appropriate, and the project as a whole includes painting and asphalting. The new playground area is being used for physical education classes as well.

“On behalf of the Ossining Union Free School District, I want to thank Senator Peter Harckham for his assistance in securing funding for a new playground at Roosevelt School,” said Sanchez. “We appreciate the support for our schools and the senator’s commitment to helping us meet the needs of our scholars, whether it be through academic achievement, or exploring the outside world through fun and play.”

“Thank you, Senator Harckham, for your support and collaboration with former student leaders who designed this structure,” said Nover. “It truly means so much to us. Our scholars have been having an amazing time using their new playground. To see the smiles and hear the giggles from our scholars when they are enjoying their new playground is truly wonderful. We know how important it is for children to have an opportunity to step away from the books for a few minutes and enjoy some fresh air and exercise. The new playground is a great addition to their school day, and I look forward to sharing many more years of fun with all our students.”

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