Crater Elementary gets a playground upgrade
Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Chehalem Park & Recreation District, students at Antonia Crater Elementary School in Newberg have a shiny new addition to their playground. A swing set, constructed in October, is now available for students at the Newberg school, part of what administrators hope is the first of many changes to the play area.
Crater's Parent Teacher Organization played an integral role in securing the grant from CPRD and has been fundraising for upgrades to the park for a while, principal John McAndrews said.
"Our PTO had been wanting to put a new play structure in place and install a new swing accessible for our students with disabilities," he said. "It was a project we wanted to complete because we just didn't have enough swings for the students' needs. The installation was quick and only took a couple of weeks total and it went very smoothly."
The new swings were built in addition to the ones already on school grounds, with shorter chains so they don't go as high. One of the swings is designed for students with physical disabilities, too, making the playground more inclusive for all students – an important goal of the PTO, McAndrews said.
Fundraising is still ongoing for a few other upgrades to the playground.
"Our PTO is exploring some other options for the playground, too," McAndrews said. "We're hoping to use some fundraising dollars to explore other opportunities for that space that will be of benefit to our students. A play court area would be a great addition as well.
"There's some different improvements we've been looking into. We've been looking at potential different surfaces for the grass area because it gets muddy, along with a new play court area and some other additions that the kids will like. We've been fundraising and we've been really grateful for the contributions of CPRD and others."
McAndrews called the grant from CPRD "generous" and said the money was put to good use investing in play time for students, which he said is important for their development and learning process. The changes he would like to see could very well happen in the coming months and years, and he encourages parents to get in touch with the local PTO – or become a part of it – in order to find ways to raise money for the effort.
For now, the new swings serve as another example of community organizations like CPRD putting forth financial contributions for the betterment of Newberg. McAndrews and the PTO are working to decide what is next for the playground, including a potential turf surface on the field so it is easier to play on after rainy days. Nowadays, students are barred from the area when it's muddy.
The school is always glad to receive help from CPRD and other local entities who wish to contribute.
"It was really generous of them," McAndrews said. "We were able to finally put the new swings in here at Crater and the kids love them."
Workshop for adults on youth mental health
The Newberg School District will host an eight-hour workshop for adults in December to help them address youth mental health.
The mental health first-aid workshop is designed to help adults identify when a young person is experiencing a mental health crisis, what to do about it and how best to meet their needs in those situations. Mental health first-aid training also aims to help adults – be they parents, teachers or otherwise – learn how to help people living with depression, anxiety, stress or substance abuse issues. The workshop runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 14 at the district offices on Sixth Street and lunch will be provided. For more information or to register, call Zuri Lopez at 503-309-9635.
Library hosts craft sale
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