By Shannon Rapose / Kern Valley Sun
During winter break, a handful of Wallace staff and volunteers went to work painting hundreds of colorful shapes, playful footprints and multipurpose game boundaries in the play areas of the Wallace Elementary School and in the Kindergarten yard as part of becoming a Peaceful Playground.
According to Brian Polston, principal of both Kernville and Wallace Elementary, the mission of Peaceful Playgrounds is to create a safe environment for students by supporting positive, healthy, active free play during recess.
“I believe that it is my responsibility as the principal to provide a safe space for every child to play,” said Polston. “A safe play environment enhances learning, prevents bullying and school injuries, and promotes positive social interactions on the playground. By providing over 100 different games and activities, we will increase the engagement of all our students in active, productive and enjoyable play.”
Over the next few days, staff and students at the school will be taught how the games can be used and played. Students will also be given opportunities to check out recess equipment in order to learn responsibility and hopefully teach others how to play the games as well. The goal is to have students take on a more active role in implementing and maintaining a Peaceful Playground at school and in their everyday lives.
While most of the painting is done at Wallace, there are still plans for a huge world map to be painted and Kernville Elementary will soon join the Peaceful Playgrounds family.