Activating our school space

Here at Clifton Elementary School, we too are sending an open invitation to the community to come and enjoy!  We couldn’t be more excited about the Activating Spaces grant provided through the County Health Department for our school!  With this grant, we are able to improve an old, unused field.  The new, improved field will offer playing fields of multiple sports where children, families, and community members can come and enjoy our safe and inviting park!

On May 10, our school community held a barbecue to debut some of the new improvements. The improved space now offers a football/soccer field, a kickball/whiffle ball field, and a volleyball court all encircled by a walking/exercise track.  This allows anyone to catch the action firsthand.  We will have two players’ benches situated by the backstop. In addition, we will also include the national program of adding a Buddy Bench to the backfield!  This is a student-led program where a child can sit and give notice to those around them if they are feeling sad, left out, bullied or just lonely.  Thus, allowing other children to join the child who needs a buddy.  The goal of the Buddy Bench is to encourage one on one engagement that will expand to anyone needing to find a place to play and feel valued. Our park wouldn’t be complete without the necessary Doggy Doo waste pole and bags. This will allow everyone the ability to play in the grass worry-free of a doggy mess!

Students can use the fields during and after school, but Clifton Elementary School Principal Yogi Cherp said he hopes parents and kids take advantage of the fields even when school is out this summer. “We’re trying to promote healthy things for our kids and our families to do for little or no cost,” Mr. Cherp said, adding that he hopes families will take advantage of the fields when the Lunch Lizard summer food truck makes stops there this summer.

As the improvements continue to happen and the fields come alive with the spirit of good sportsmanship, the saying will again be true from the movie, Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come!”

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