Norfolk parents want preschool play set for students with no equipment

Parents from James Monroe Elementary contacted WAVY because there is no playground equipment for their children to play on.

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side is working to help some frustrated pre-K students and their parents.

Several parents from James Monroe Elementary contacted WAVY because there is no playground equipment for their 3 and 4 year olds to play on at the Norfolk public school.

“This is a tight school and I love this school,” Bonita Ward told WAVY.com

“We couldn’t be happier with it, except the kids don’t get to go outside and play because they don’t have proper playground equipment,” said Victoria Farr.

There is a big, bright, colorful climbing gym and sturdy slide out front, but it’s built for bigger kids. It’s not safe for the preschool students to play on.

The city ripped out the old, rundown pre-K play set about a month ago.”Now every day my kid is asking me when are they putting it back,” Farr said. The answer is there are no plans to replace it. 10 On Your Side reached out to Norfolk Public Schools and the city.

We learned the city replaces equipment at three elementary schools every year. It’s for ages 5-12 and open to the public. If schools want specific pre-K equipment it’s on them to buy.

The school district told us replacing the pre-K set is not in their tight budget and “pre-K classes are encouraged to use the gym for “free play.”

“They don’t want to be in no gym,” Ward exclaimed.

We found out they bought the old pre-K set with grant money.

Most children in this school are from low-income families. “It doesn’t matter where you live or what you look like, you deserve to have a playground equipment. I don’t think anybody would argue about that,” Farr said.

The moms say they will do whatever it takes, and the school district told 10 On Your Side they’re open to conversations.

We also heard from the president of the Park Place Civic League.  He said the community will find a way to get the equipment for the children.