Matthew Maury Elementary School celebrated the opening of their new playground on Friday with a balloon-filled ribbon cutting ceremony.
Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley helped cut the ribbon with students from Maury. Principal Lucretia Jackson, Mayor Allison Silberberg, Maury Schoolyard Initiative representative Sue Setliff and Former Mayor Bill Euille also joined the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Superintendent Crawley reminded the crowd that the playground contributes to the goal of ensuring that every student succeeds in terms of social and emotional development. When students are engaged in physical activity they are also learning and developing relationships.
First and foremost, we are an academic learning organization and we want to make sure that everything we do leads back to student success. We know there is a relationship between academic success and our students’ social and physical development. They create relationships, learn to take turns and create lifelong friendships. We are proud that this is our schoolyard and want to thank all those who helped make it possible. This is an exciting day for us,” said Superintendent Crawley.
Initially, it was thought a brief rain storm would delay the opening. But the rain stopped and students came out in time to help cut the ribbon. Within minutes children were able to play on the equipment.
Two benches were dedicated in the memory of loved family members of Maury students.
The design was created by LandDesign and Bowman Consulting and constructed by F.H Paschen Tectonics. Work began by resolving long-term storm water management issues and included re-grading and installing drainage systems. It also includedlandscaping and the installation of playground equipment, an amphitheater, a learning garden and a synthetic turf field.
The new schoolyard included the first REAL School Garden endeavor in Virginia. The school has entered into a partnership with Real School Gardens, which implements “learning gardens” as a tool to improve student engagement and academic achievement.
The project is unique as it represents the inaugural Community Funded Partnership project for ACPS. The Maury Schoolyard Initiative raised $196,400 towards the $1,165,000 project. This was supported by $250,000 from the City of Alexandria.