Activity areas at Scottville Elementary, Victory center playgrounds will encourage healthy lifestyles. 

August 18, 2022

Activity areas at Scottville Elementary, Victory center playgrounds will encourage healthy lifestyles. 

Spartan News is a presentation of Mason County Central Schools in partnership with Mason County Press. 

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

SCOTTVILLE — When students at Scottville Elementary (Mason County Central’s lower elementary) return to school next month, they will find some new additions to their playground. On Wednesday, Aug. 17, a group of volunteers, including teachers, using stencils, painted activity areas on the “Magic Square” and other paved surfaces in the playground area. The stencils are meant to encourage physical activity. They include foursquare, hopscotch, leapfrog, copycat, and the alphabet caterpillar. In addition, paintings of various fruits and vegetables serve as garnishment.

The project was initiated by Michigan State University Extension in collaboration with MCC with funding from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is funded by the Farm Act. The school also obtained donations for the paint. 

Kendra Gibson, MSUE nutrition instructor said she contacted Angela Taylor, MCC director of state and federal programs and of Victory Early Childhood Center with the proposal for the project. 

“Physical activity is one of the most things that anyone can do to improve their health,” Gibson said. “We are committed to encouraging this at a young age. We also want to teach children to make healthy eating choices.” 

Scottville Elementary Principal Chris Etchison said the playground enhancements not only encourage physical activity but also spruce up the space. He said he was also thankful for the volunteers who helped. 

“I contacted some of the school staff and they jumped at the chance to come here today, during their summer vacation, to help with this project which benefits our students,” Etchison said. “I’m also thankful for Angie Taylor for helping make arrangements with Kendra Gibson to see this happen.” 

Gibson said there are many benefits to encouraging healthy lifestyles. 

“Developing an active lifestyle improves sleep, students perform better in school and feel better about themselves,” Gibson said. “These activity stencils offer the opportunity to create positive interactions and build relationships while they have fun on the playground.”

The stencils will also be painted at Victory Early Childhood Center before the start of the school year. 

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