As part of the 2023 Hamilton Community Schools bond proposal that was passed in May, playground redesign at all four elementary schools will be on the docket! To help get the students involved in the process, our Work Based Learning coordinator Ashley Meyer and administration helped set up elementary playground visits for our 5th grade students.

On Wednesday, September 13, Mrs. Jodi Hansen and Ms. Brooke Statema's students went to Bentheim Elementary and Salem Township Park to brainstorm some ideas of what could be incorporated and created at Bentheim. Meanwhile, Mrs. Garner and Mrs. Miles 5th grade classes went to Blue Star Elementary and Kollen Park to help explore ideas!

"We're so excited and thankful that we passed our 2023 bond and very excited that we have our 5th graders here to give us their ideas," said Bentheim and Sandyview Elementary principal, Jared Randall. "These students will give us ideas for future playground equipment that is fun, safe, and uses taxpayer dollars to the best of our abilities."

The students talked to some of the current elementary students on the playground to see why they were playing on different equipment instead of others. Where the 5th graders would see lines or overused equipment, they would document it as well as what should be moved or removed completely.

"We found out that the kids don't use the open slides but they really like the tube slides," said 5th grader Raina Rietema.

Mrs. Hansen then watched her 5th graders visit the Salem Township Park in Burnips and enjoy the walking trail, something a lot of students documented could be possible at Bentheim with all of the open space.

"We have some ideas, some of our kids already took off to the trail over there and they enjoy that idea, some of them are already saying that we could do something like this at Bentheim," Hansen smiled. 

5th grader Peyton Roelofs spent time discussing ideas with elementary students at Bentheim.

"The zipline at Bentheim could be a lot bigger, a lot of the kids said it was too small," she explained. "The students also want a bigger soccer goal and maybe a bigger football or baseball field," Roelofs added.

All of the students took notes during their afternoon field trip and will then split into groups and discuss their ideas. After weeks of working on their projects and creating presentations, the 5th graders will present to a board of HCS administrators who will then take these concepts into consideration for playground construction in the future.