STUDENTS in Years 3 to 6 at Yarram Primary School are in for a big surprise when they return to school next week – there is a brand new $32,000 playground for them to play on.
Yarram Primary School was among 11 schools across Gippsland to receive up to $20,000 for small-scale projects under the federal government’s Local Schools Community Fund.
Yarram Primary School Parents Club and Junior School Council made up the $12,000 shortfall through its fundraising efforts to meet the total cost of the project.
Principal Penny Earle said the school had wanted a new playground for its middle and senior students for the past five years.
“We had a space for it, but not the funds,” she said.
“Our community has undergone some tough times of late and fundraising was tight. This grant put the new playground within our reach.”
Ms Earle said the old playground did little to inspire the older students, either mentally or physically, and hoped the new playground would help students develop a love of outdoor physical activity.
“Our new playground is designed to get our Year 3 to 6 students to move, play and challenge themselves,” she said.
“We hope they will discover the mental and physical benefits of being active, rather than focusing on electronic devices.”
Gippsland MHR Darren Chester visited the school to see the new play equipment, and said it was great to help schools realise projects they would otherwise struggle to complete.
“Times are tough for communities across Gippsland and fundraising can be difficult,” he said.
“Our schools are the focus of many towns and districts, so by supporting our schools we are supporting our community.
With government restrictions on the use of playgrounds now lifted, the new playground will be open to the community outside of school hours, including at weekends and during the holidays.
It will also be used by children taking part in before and after school and holiday care programs.