By Kayleigh Rahn
The youngest students at North Ward Elementary School have something extra special to look forward to as they enter the school halls in just one week.
Thanks to great planning, fundraising, and support, the pre-kindergarten Tigers have a new playground on which to romp around as their schools days take off for the 2020-2019 year.
The Kiwanis Club effort, spearheaded by project manager Dave Morgan made the addition possible that culminated in a ribbon cutting ceremony and the first playtime Monday, Aug. 12.
“Community members, local businesses as well as individual members of the Tuscola Kiwanis Club donated money, equipment, materials, and sweat equity, which resulted in the construction of a Pre-K playground that includes a climbing wall, slides, and a carousel located upon a cushion of rubber mulch,” Kiwanian Mike Damler read from Kiwanis President Pete Buckley’s letter. “The Tuscola Kiwanis Club and the Tuscola community contributed $18,000 in cash to pay for this playground. Another $2,000 in materials and equipment were donated by the businesses and community.”
Buckley’s letter quoted Darrell Hammond, the founder of a non-profit organization that builds playgrounds, who said, “‘Kids who play, play well as adults. Kids who play, build their confidence and learn the social skills that help them become happy, well-adjusted adults.’”
A sign noting the Kiwanis Club and the numerous donors is secured to the south wall of the new facility.
“The Tuscola Kiwanis Club is proud to be a part of this special Tuscola community, and we are also proud to have played a part in building this playground,” Damler read. “It is our hope at Kiwanis, that this sign placed in front of the playground will forever remind visitors of the many people and businesses within the Tuscola community who cared enough to help make an outstanding elementary school just a little bit better.”
Prior to cutting the ribbon to welcome the children to play, North Ward Principal Jason Wallace made one significant recognition to idea man and project manager Morgan.
“Dave would say thank you to me all the time, but I did nothing,” Wallace said. “We are so thankful for people like him to drive things. It seems like there was nothing here such a short time ago and now we have an amazing playground for our kiddos, and I know our teachers are just as excited to have this here.”