Currys help Oakland elementary school get playground makeover

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OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — When students at one elementary school in Oakland return from distance learning, they will be greeted by a new playground.

A famous Bay Area sports family is helping to make it happen for the students.

One of the most hazardous school playgrounds, Franklin Elementary School in the City of Oakland, is about to undergo a major makeover.

“It is a massive project. We have one of the most massive playgrounds in the whole Oakland Unified School District and it has been neglected for over 30-years,” Max Langaard, a physical education teacher at Franklin said.

“I came here to check it out for myself and I have to say unfortunately I do agree. It needs improvements and we can do better than this,” Stephen Curry said.

Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry and his wife Ayesha are lending their star power to help fuel the project, among others involved in the collaborative effort.

“Our Eat, Learn, Play foundation is teaming up with Kaboom, Oakland Unified School District and Franklin Elementary to ensure that when you are back in school that you have an amazing new school yard and playground to return to,” Curry said.

“We want to make sure that we are limiting injuries on the playground,” Jen Demelo, director of special projects at Kaboom said. “We know that those are very common when there are maintenance issues on site. With a new safe playground, we hope to limit those.”

The students will also play a role in designing their own playground.

“They actually get to write out different designs,” Langaard said. “Color different things that they think will be fun.”

Back in 2019, concerned parents contacted KRON4 about the hazardous playground for children.

“Really it’s an ongoing problem,” one parent said last year.

“Scratches, bruises, cuts,” another said.

“The KRON4 story about our unsafe playground was huge,” Langaard said. “It got the word out there.”

The playground has since been paved and that is just the beginning, according to Curry.

“Franklin Elementary School is getting a brand new playground, court and school garden,” he said.

School officials estimate the new playground will be complete during the 2021 school year.

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