St. Barnabas Hospital donates playground equipment to 3 West Orange elementary schools

WO-st barn playground wosd-W
Photo Courtesy of Cynthia Cumming
Adults, from left, are Washington Principal Marie DeMaio, Gregory Principal Michele Thompson, St. Barnabas’ Andrea Cuellar, West Orange School District’s Kevin Alvine, St. Barnabas’ Thomas Modica, St. Cloud Principal Eric Price and St. Barnabas’ Margie Heller; and children, from left, are St. Cloud fourth-grade students Jack Berman, Olivia Raymond and Arun Roopani.

WEST ORANGE, NJ – St. Cloud, Gregory and Washington elementary schools were the lucky recipients of hula hoops, balls, chalk, jump ropes and other playground equipment from St. Barnabas Hospital on April 20.

Margie Heller, administrative director of community health and outreach at St. Barnabas; Andrea Cuellar, supervisor of physical therapy and lift team services; and Tom Modica, St. Barnabas rehabilitation director, raised the funds and purchased the three large bags of equipment.

“St. Barnabas really wanted to help out our schools’ recess programs with equipment that the students would use to get plenty of exercise and have fun with,” K-12 supervisor of health and physical education Kevin Alvine said in a press release. “Recess is a very important part of a child’s development — not only for the exercise it provides, but also the socialization and sportsmanship aspects of unorganized free play.”

Gregory Principal Michele Thompson, St. Cloud Principal Eric Price and Washington Principal Marie DeMaio were on hand to meet the St. Barnabas staff at St. Cloud, along with Alvine.

“I still remember playing stickball, kickball, wall ball, and 4 Square on my school playground,” Alvine said, according to the release. “Many kids today don’t play the games we took for granted growing up. This generous donation from St. Barnabas will help our students get that ‘old school’ feeling we all enjoyed.”