$25,000 Contributed Toward New Playground


Emerson Public Elementary School in Kearney would like to raise $100,000 for a new playground. And they were able to get a little closer to that goal Friday.

Eaton Corporation donated $25,000 to the school, which is putting the school one step closer to its goal for some new outside recreation.

You could say it is an old, outdated playground that's getting a new, modern makeover-- a makeover that has everyone on the edge of their swing.

"Anxious. We talked about it all last year. I think anxious would be the right word, and we've been fundraising forever; so, I think they're really excited and anxious to get to it," said Grant Bachman, teacher at EES.

EES faces several challenges when compared to other schools. In a 2010 census from the Department of Education, Emerson rated higher in all categories when placed side by side to schools in Nebraska, and to schools in Kearney. The new playground equipment could be a sigh of relief to helping battle those challenges when they happen in the classroom.

"There's so much research out there saying it is a balance between work and activity. If we are going to provide the best service to our students, and have them learn as much as we want them too, we want to have a place they can do just that," said Sam Stecher, principal of EES.

"The more you can get the entire body mentally and physically involved in the activity, the better your results will be," said Bachman.

It has been 25 years since the playground equipment had been replaced. Long overdue because KPS has a policy stating that each school is held responsible for obtaining its own playground equipment. Moving forward, it looks like Emerson will continue to have no trouble doing what they do best, while rewarding the students with something they deserve.

"I think the wonderful thing about this school is that everyone does a wonderful job of lifting these kids up, and helping these kids realize their full potential regardless of where they come from," said Bachman.

"To see them rewarded with this after their hard work is really exciting," said Stecher.