Penryn students have a new place to play

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Editor
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Students at Penryn Elementary School are climbing, sliding, hanging and jumping on a new playground entirely paid for by donations. It was the culmination of a five-year effort, spearheaded by a Penryn parent and supported by the community. The playground equipment, along with 460 yards of fibar, was installed over spring break by the Loomis Union School District maintenance staff and Shawn Gardner Builders. Andy Withers, Penryn principal, said the new playground includes a rock wall, two slides, a moving bridge, a bouncer, monkey bars and hanging rings. “There’s a lot of good equipment for strength and agility. It used to be that kids were on the blacktop during recess. Now, they are active and using the equipment,” he said. Withers called the new playground the “focal point of the community,” but the students just call it fun. “I love it a lot,” said Penryn third-grader Macy Roth. “I climb the rock wall, run around and go up the stairs and down the slide. I used to play foursquare with my friends. Now, we play on the new playground,” Macy said. Fifth-grader Patrick Delno said he helped a lot with other volunteers when the playground was installed in April. He said he was in kindergarten, when parents began the effort to get a new play facility built. “I didn’t know it would take so long,” he said of the five-year wait, during which time volunteers raised money and sought in-kind donations. Donna Delno, Patrick’s mom, chaired the Penryn Plays committee that raised $54,000 in cash and $62,000 worth of in-kind donations. “Penryn does not have a public park for kids. So, my dream was to have the best possible playground at school for the kids of Penryn to play at school and on the weekends,” Donna Delno said. “It’s beautiful,” Delno said of the finished playground The Penryn Plays committee began fundraising in 2006 and held two benefit concerts featuring the Rhythm Riders, a Johnny Cash tribute band. The park project was also supported by donations from the Penryn Parent Teacher Club, Penryn alumni, foundation grants and school family support.