New playground brings joy to Calabasas students, staff

New playground brings joy to Calabasas students, staff
Posted on 08/31/2021
Calabasas students enjoy their new playground equipment

Written by Sarah Wright

Calabasas School was filled with squeals of delight on the first day of school and throughout the month of August as students became aware of and began using their new playground.

Elementary and middle school students at Calabasas School have been running, jumping, climbing, and swinging their way through recess on the school’s new playground.

The project was funded through bond dollars approved by district voters last fall, and was completed in June.

One elementary student says the playground makes recess more fun. This student enjoys the slides, but said the swings are his favorite, adding the new shade over the playground is also something to be grateful for. The large shade coverings over the playground were another project that was funded by the school’s parent group.

Before the playground was built, elementary students were able to play basketball or soccer. The playground has offered more play opportunities.

“The playground has made a tremendous difference for the students on campus. They now have an organized and structured space that fills the needs of all students,” Josie Nuño, a third grade teacher, stated. She added, “Now there are plenty of physical options to choose from and most places to play are now under shade!”

Playgrounds offer children the opportunity for physical activity, but there are other developmental, social, and academic benefits to having playgrounds on school campuses.

According to Calabasas Principal Bethany Patterson, “Having a playground is actually an outdoor learning experience. Our students have the opportunity to learn how to play with different items on the playground, learn how to socialize, learn how to take turns, and it adds physical activity to their day which gets their oxygen flowing!”

Mrs. Nuño has noticed some of these benefits for her students.

“Students are learning to take turns sharing, respecting each other’s space, and playground safety,” she said. “They are loving all the intricate workings of the playground, from the swings, to the jungle gym, the piano, the climbing walls, and even building in the sand.”

The benefits are extending from recess back into the classroom, according to Mrs. Nuño. “Students now seem more focused during instruction time and less fidgety. I have definitely seen an improvement in behavior within the classroom. It has helped to calm down and center our special needs students.”

Reflecting the joy of the students in their new playground, Mrs. Patterson said, “The playground has been a blessing on our campus and is allowing more learning experiences than we could ever have imagined. The laughter and fun that come from that area warms my heart. All kids, including the middle school, are so excited to have this a part of our campus for sure.”