By Joie Tyrrell
NewsDay – Melville, NY
Research indicates that there is an absence of peaceful play and a prevalence of bullying in schools is increasing on a regular basis and that most bullying occurs on school playgrounds.
With this in mind, the staff at Amityville’s Northwest Elementary School, along with the COMPASS Coalition and the Amityville community, kicked off their Peaceful Playgrounds project on Saturday, May 16th.
The light drizzle and gray skies couldn’t dampen the spirits of more than 200 community members who came out for the festivities.
As part of the project, students, staff and community members used stencils and paint to transform their playground into a permanent, colorful arrangement of outdoor games that students love to play.
The Peaceful Playgrounds Program is intended to maximize the number of students involved in physical activity, rather than having them waiting in line or standing around idly, which is the perfect time for a bully to strike.
Members of the community group COMPASS made the playground possible for Northwest students through grant funds, and community and staff volunteers assisted by donating their time to paint and help serve food.
All in attendance enjoyed a visit from the Amityville Fire Department and Sesame Street’s Ernie, a clown who painted faces, as well as prizes and giveaways from radio station 106.1 WBLI.