Stuart Hedstrom, Piscataquis Observer • February 20, 2020
MILO — Currently the younger students at Penquis Valley Middle School have little more than a decades-old basketball court and a small area with a pile of dirt and two roads going right by to use for recess but a group of educators, parents and community members are working to change this with a new playground.
Sitting in her classroom several days before the start of February vacation, grade 5-6 social studies teacher Debbie Page explained several years ago SAD 41 fifth-graders moved up to Penquis Valley, a few years after grade 6 students moved over from the Milo and Brownville elementary schools.
“There’s nothing, there’s just a piece of land with a road on two sides of it and a very dilapidated ball court, I think it’s been there for at least 40 years,” Page said, with an access road to D’Este Street and Penquis Drive each running by.
“There’s a mound of dirt and any given day that we can take the kids over there there’s a dozen kids on it, a mound of dirt,” she said. “We just think that we can do better.”
Cheana Bavelaar, who has three daughters under age 10 including two in grade school, said the current recess space is inadequate and unsafe. “I’m part of a program that comes and cleans students’ teeth at school and I was talking with a fifth-grader and I said ‘so what do you do at recess’ and the kid said ‘oh we sit on the hill and talk’ and my heart just sank,” she said. “I thought my kid will be here in two years, her and her friends I can’t imagine them just not going outside and playing, just sitting there with the energy that these kids have and the imagination that these kids have. It just broke my heart so I caught a teacher out here after soccer practice and I mentioned it to her.”
Bavelaar learned in 2018 a committee formed to create a playground on campus and soon she was in contact with Page. “Two days later Debbie called me and it was just like that, and that was in September and three months later we’ve done so much already,” Bavelaar said.
Page said the group was comprised of teachers but with parents getting involved, they became reenergized.“We knew we needed to bring the community in to really make it happen,” she said.
The group can be found on Facebook under “Penquis Valley Community Playground,” and the page statement reads “We believe that every school deserves a safe playground. Children need time for free play at recess. Research shows that it builds social skills, confidence and coordination. We also promote healthy initiatives for students, and the SAD 41 community.”
Earlier in her career Page taught third grade for 14 years. “I pushed recess so much I was taking my kids out three times a day, it made such a difference for the kids that they had that break in-between having to sit and learn and study,” she said. “There’s so much...Read More
The Milo Historicay Society has added Volume 17 (1978) of The Town Crier to their website!
Milo Historical Society
Milo Library News
Milo Library News
The Library is
Monday, Feb 17th
in observance of
February 14, 2005
Click the link to view the photo album on the Milo Historical Society website!
The Milo/Brownville Caucuses will be March 8.
Doors open at one for a small luncheon.
Caucus begins at 1:00 at the Milo Town Hall.
Open to Democrats, but town registrars will be there to register voters.