Dublin Villager

Tykes take to trikes to trick-out their playground

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Dublin Community Preschoolers will pedal their way to new playground equipment later this month.

Dublin Community Pre-school will hold the second annual Trike-a-Thon the week of April 22, raising money and awareness for safety on the playground.

"The Trike-a-Thon is part of how Dublin Community Preschool recognizes National Playground Safety week, which runs the week of April 22," said Julie Turner, preschool director.

"During that week we take the opportunity to communicate with parents and students about outdoor safety for children," Turner said.

"It's timely because usually the weather breaks and kids are outside."

Students collect pledges or flat donations for the Trike-a-Thon that will benefit the playgrounds.

"It's a good time for us as a preschool to replace worn out or broken outdoor equipment and make sure it's safe for kids," Turner said.

The inaugural Trike-a-Thon raised $4,200, said Jenny Rozanski, a preschool em-ployee who is helping to arrange the Trike-a-Thon this year. She hopes to raise at least that much again.

"The goal is to at least match what we did last year and help with expenses to get replacement bikes and doing playground safety upkeep," she said.

The money raised last year went to replacing some of the equipment used in the Trike-a-Thon and out on the playground, Turner said.

"We replaced a number of tricycles and outdoor ride toys," she said. "It funded all new helmets."

Where the money goes this year has yet to be determined.

"We will be looking at overall safety," Turner said.

"We have two playgrounds: a bike playground and side playground with traditional equipment," she said.

"We're looking at the safety of the slide playground and address any safety issues there.

"We'll be replacing worn out ride toys and looking at helmets. All the equipment we use outside will be prioritized."

About 260 children will be involved in the Trike-a-Thon and riding laps based on their ages. Five-year-olds, for example, will ride the furthest with 11 laps.

In addition to physical activity, the week will also address safety education.

"We're tying it into National Playground Safety week and involve the city of Dublin Police Department," Turner said. "Officers will be coming into classrooms and reading books with children on outdoor safety and show playground safety videos."

Safety will also be addressed with parents at 7 p.m. April 24 when Steve Locker of Locker Soccer Academy talks safety and physical activity. The event is open to the public and child care will be available.

"He is leading a parent discussion about wellness for preschoolers as well as organized sports at that age," Turner said. "He's giving information to those parents to make sure kids are fit. They can ask an expert and talk about sports for that age."

Dublin Community Preschool is located in the Dublin Community Church at 81 W. Bridge Street. Anyone interested in making a pledge or donation to the Trike-a-Thon can contact the school at 614-889-0052.