Metompkin Elementary’s new playground is first of many


BY STEFANIE JACKSON, Eastern Shore Post —

A crowd of Metompkin Elementary School students ran onto their brand-new playground as soon as the ribbon was cut at the playground’s grand opening in Parksley on March 21. 

“This is a time when being a school board member is pleasurable,” said school board Chair Ronnie Holden. “You see the rewards. … We just want everybody in our community to enjoy this facility.”

The Metompkin Elementary playground was the first of several new Accomack County school playgrounds to be completed and features two separate play areas for younger and older children.

“This is an exciting day for all the smiling faces that I see out here,” said school board Vice Chair Gary Reese.

Metompkin is part of the first phase of the school district-wide playground project that also includes Accawmacke, Pungoteague, Chincoteague, and Kegotank elementary schools, he said.

The second phase, to begin next year, will include updating the playground at Tangier Combined School and adding to existing Accomack school playgrounds equipment specialized for students with disabilities, Reese added.

He thanked Bobby Bennett, Accomack schools director of operations and management, for his efforts in making the playground project a success.

Metompkin Elementary School staff and students also thanked building and grounds crew members Glen Payne, Mike Weatherly, Mike Bowman, Paul Bloxom, and Tommy Clark.

Reese invited families to enjoy the playground on weekends and other special days. “That’s why it’s here,” he said.

Other school board members and staff were present, as well as the Metompkin Eagles mascot, who assisted Kelly Hale, Title I teacher and family engagement liaison, in reviewing the playground rules.

Elementary school students also shared quotes about the importance of play, including one from the late children’s television show host Fred Rogers, who said:

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”

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