ASBURY PARK – Students of the Barack H. Obama Elementary School now have a playground to call their own. The Asbury Park School District hosted an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 14 to mark the occasion.
The ribbon was cut by Asbury Park Mayor Myra Campbell, who was assisted by Principal Kathy Baumgardner and Superintendent Dr. Lamont Repollet. As an added bonus, the school’s Super Star Students for the month were allowed to be the first to try out the new equipment.
Baumgardner said her students had observed with anticipation the playground’s construction over the past six weeks.
“I love that the students were able to see, from the ground up, how a playground is assembled. They are so amazed at how it has developed into the final product,” she added. “I am excited for the students of this community. They have a beautiful building, and now, they have a beautiful play area!”
The playground is divided into two sections – a tot lot for age three to five; and one for elementary students age five to 12. The facility is open to students only during school hours. The equipment, manufactured by Game Time, is designed to enhance youths’ cognitive (Connect 3, Tick, Tac Toe and Rubik’s Cube) and motor skills (two rock climbing devices, sliding boards and monkey bars).
Mayor Campbell said the unveiling was extra special to her as she was instrumental in August 2009 in renaming the building, formerly known as the Bangs Avenue School. She said her goal was to encourage the students to look up to Sasha and Malia Obama as role models each time they entered the building named after their father.
“Never stop dreaming,” Campbell said. “You can be anything you want to be.”