Building Better Minds


Principal: Real-life learning takes place on the playground

Posted at 8:04 AM, Oct 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-16 08:04:53-04

AMELIA COUNTY, Va. -- Many education experts will tell you that playtime is just as beneficial to students as class time. Amelia County Elementary School principal Jonathan Cummins could see kids at his school weren’t getting the playtime they deserved on the school's old playground.

Principal Jonathan Cummins

"Everyone knew that we needed a new playground," Cummins said.  “Our playground was pea gravel and an old wood structure.  And it wasn't in the best shape for our students."

He knew coming up with the money needed to build a new playground wasn't going to be easy, but it was the PTA that got the ball rolling before Cummins started as principal.

New Playground

"I wanted this to be my number one project," Cummins said, “so I collaborated with them, my PTA, and said, 'How are we going to get it done?’ "

"It is pretty great," PTA President Thais Pope said.  “We have a lot of people who are very close here.  Everybody seems to know each other.  When you reach out and need help, you have plenty of people who come forward."

Thais Pope - PTA President

To help with the project, Cummins went to the county to request funds. RJ Smith Demolition took out the old playground for free and let principal Cummins get behind the controls on some of the big equipment.

"This is where real life learning happens," Cummins said.  “Whether they're learning to be in lines, whether they're learning to play with each other, whether they're learning to interact with students of all different types.  Whether they're learning to share.  That's where this happens... on this playground."