DIA to revamp playground this summer

DIA to revamp playground this summer
Posted on 02/22/2022
mockup of playground structure - butterfly-shaped, green climbing net structure

Grand Junction, CO - Thanks to a $250,000 grant from the Colorado Health Foundation, Dual Immersion Academy will be improving its outdoor spaces and play areas this summer to benefit students and the local community!

The D51 Grounds Department will remove aging equipment behind the school and prepare the space for new play equipment that will be funded by the CHF grant. The new equipment includes a new playground set for the back of the school selected by student vote, a climbing structure on the right side of the grassy field, and a new pre-K playground on the left side of the grassy field. The pre-K playground will have a fence around it, thanks to a $1,500 matching grant from the Lions Club. The students should be ready by the start of the 2022-23 school year in August.

“We are very excited about the grant and we know that physical activity and play are so important for our students’ health and social interaction,” said DIA Principal Monica Heptner.  “Play is when kids have that socializing time. They learn about social cues and social language. For us, play is a huge piece in considering the social emotional learning side of a student.”

Ms. Heptner added that the equipment is not just for students, it is for the entire community.

When the installation of the new equipment is complete, the school will have a total of four play zones. The DIA Parent-Teacher Association provided funding last fall for an outdoor classroom that will be used daily for snack, classroom activities, and other fun activities, weather permitting. The school is also working on a few other outdoor projects, including putting up new soccer goal posts.