Holy Name Catholic School
Dedicates New Playground
By Marie L. Monyak
April 10, 2006
Ketchikan, Alaska - It was wet and windy Wednesday for the ribbon
cutting and dedication of the new playground at Holy Name Catholic
School. As the weekly school Mass let out, the Holy Name school
children filed into the covered patio area to await Father Pat
Travers who would be offering a prayer and blessing the new playground
and equipment before cutting the traditional ribbon.
Father Travers speaks
to the students before the ribbon cutting.
Photograph by Marie L. Monyak
Barely able to contain their excitement, the children stood patiently
and quietly while Father Travers read from the First Letter to
the Corinthians, 9:24. The Pastor proceeded to bless the new
playground as the children from Preschool through sixth grade
stood ready to charge. Monsoons could not have held the children
back as Father Travers cut the ceremonial ribbon signaling the
opening of the colorful and modern playground.
Clad in typical Ketchikan raingear, the children's spirits weren't
dampened by the wind and rain as they climbed the new rock wall,
took turns on the new swing set or slid down the wet slide faster
than the raindrops. In fact, there was so much running and jumping
going on I was quite certain the children were dodging the raindrops,
unlike me who was pretty damp to say the least.
Father Travers cuts
Photograph by marie L. Monyak
The children's pride in their new playground was obvious as many
of them climbed on the play structure and posed for a photo.
Even more amazing was how quickly the children responded to the
impromptu photo shoot and cooperated as though they planned it
Although the area may appear small for so many children that
were enjoying it on this day, it was explained that the school
holds three separate recesses so only small groups are using
the playground at any given time. It was also pointed out that
the neighborhood children utilize the area as well as the school
According to School Principal, John Dickinson, the new playground
equipment, fencing and cedar chip ground covering was paid for
through various fundraisers. The playground planning committee
headed by Eric Collins included numerous church members and parents
who volunteered their valuable time and talent to remodel or
construct the new area.
One of the many new
features of the new playground.
Photograph by Marie L. Monyak
The planning committee went so far as to consult with local physical
therapist Marggie Sweetman to ensure that the playground equipment
provided for the unique physical needs of developing young bodies
and minds. Sweetman pointed out that children need a wide range
of activities such as swinging, jumping, climbing, spinning and
In keeping with the school's motto; Educating the Whole Child.
Body - Mind - Spirit, Holy Name Catholic School addressed
all three elements with their modern, updated, kid friendly playground
that will not only provide physical exercise but mental challenges
Now if only it would stop raining!
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