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Thomas Jefferson ES created a “Peaceful Playground” for recess

Plainfeld – Thomas Jefferson Elementary School students have a new playground to enjoy this year.

School physical education teacher Denise Zettek created a Peaceful Playground this summer.

Zettek and other staff members painted part of the blacktop to host a variety of physical and mental activities including:

• A chalk area;

• Four square courts;

• Rock, paper, scissors, and non-equipment games area;

• Three obstacle courses that include sight words, alphabet/letter recognition, math, and path directions;

• A fine motor area that includes blocks and a Jenga game.

The idea behind the playground is to help students use their imaginations, make choices, build confidence, improve their social, emotional, academic, and physical skills needed in life, Zettek said.

“This type of peaceful playground allows students the opportunity to develop such social skills as ethical play behavior, problem solving, rulemaking, and peer to peer interaction,” she said.

Recess complements regular physical education classes, Zettek said.

“There is something to do for everyone, it keeps us healthier because we play more and there are a lot more fun choices,” she said. --

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