by Moira Cullings
LAWRENCE — An updated playground with stimulating new equipment awaited students of Corpus Christi School here when they returned this August.
According to principal Kirsten Wondra, the new offerings have given students an extra reason for excitement this school year.
“Recess is always an exciting part of any student’s school day experience,” said Wondra.
“However,” she continued, “for our students to be able to come back this school year to a new playground with safe, updated and exciting equipment to play on and play with — their joy has been palpable.”
Corpus Christi’s playground was in need of various updates, including new climbing structures and thought-provoking equipment.
These aspects were made possible thanks to the school’s Donum Fidei Auction gifts from past donors.
“The donors were excited to support a fun outdoor space that would encourage healthy activity for our students,” said Wondra.
The playground’s soft surface also needed repairs, including a complete resurfacing and replacement in the new equipment area.
The funds for this part of the project were provided by a donor’s gift, as well as a grant the school received through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Waste Tire Grant program.
“Our grant application was one of many projects reviewed by the governor’s Solid Waste Grants advisory committee for [fiscal year] 2021,” said Wondra.
The school applied for the grant in January of 2021 and received the award in March.
Construction was completed this summer, and Corpus Christi kicked off the school year with grade-level Popsicle parties on the playground in early August.
Now back at school, students are busy breaking in a large climbing structure, low balance toys, a sonic spinner, a retro rocker and a playground band that includes a ladybug drum and cymbal tree, among other instruments.
Wondra is grateful her students will have the opportunity for this type of play for years to come.
“The Corpus Christi community has wrapped their arms around our students and given them a gift that inspires play and encourages physical activity from now well into the future,” she said.
To learn more about the Waste Tire Grant Program and upcoming grants, visit the website at: kdheks.gov/waste/forms_grants.html.