September 2008

New playground program teaches problem solving skills at Doniphan Trumbull School.

By Ginger ten Bensel
KHAS-TV – Hastings, NE

A playground with a lot to offer is in the works in Doniphan.

It is called a Peaceful Playground. It is a playground where children can enjoy playing together in groups and learn problem solving skills at the same time.

The playground has age appropriate games, consistent expectations and rules and much more.

It is a playground that kids at Doniphan Trumbull Schools have been waiting for, for some time.

“It is really great. I never expected this to happen,” said Olivia Rash, a student.

So far the playground has cost $45,000. The next move is for volunteers to stencil the playground. They will stencil numbers, a U.S. Map, letters and more.

“I think it will benefit the kids, help them be better people,” said Cassie Rainforth, student volunteer.

Mary Yilk said though the playground is still in the works it has a lot to offer.

“They will be able to problem solve on their own. They will have the same expectations, all students will have the same set of rules. The teachers are taught the rules at the same time,” said Mary Yilk, Elementary Principal.

Part of the problem solving process is a student dispute form. If a student gets into a fight on the playground they have to fill out the form.

“I have never used the form but people who are fighting, they discuss it, they say we are fighting about this, they talk about it and decide it is not really supposed to fight about. It is because it is really not that big of a deal, and they sign the paper saying they apologize, they don’t need to fight,” said Olivia.

Mary Yilk said many problems from the playground transfer to the classroom. So using this process helps in the classroom as well. But for the students, the playground experience is something special.

“The most exciting thing I would have to say is that nobody is fighting and we are having the time of our lives, pretty much,” said Olivia.

Mary also said they hope they can help other schools learn more about peaceful playgrounds.

KHAS TV – Peaceful Playgrounds at Doniphan Trumbull Schools