Beach fifth graders and families enjoy a day of play on the green

Julie Reichle

Fifth graders from Beach Elementary School pose for a group photo on August 14.

Approximately one hundred Beach Elementary School fifth graders and their parents showed up for a “family playdate” in Dracena Park on the afternoon of Aug. 14. The event was organized by Beach parent Etienne Fang (PHS ’94) and was run by Playworks to bring families together for an inclusive afternoon of fun and games.

Fang sits on the board of Playworks, the national nonprofit that helps schools and youth groups “create recess and play environments where every child can join in.” Playworks’s CEO, Elizabeth Cushing, is a former PUSD parent and showed up to help run some of the games.

“This playdate was an opportunity for us to all come together over ice cream and play — two universals of childhood and humanity! — to welcome newcomers, and bring everyone back together post-COVID. We need social and emotional health more than ever, as we continue to return to the new normal,” Fang said in an email. She said while Piedmont’s tight-knit community is a draw, it’s not always easy for new students to make their way because friendships tend to form early on between families.

Families were asked to make an optional donation between $25 – $50 that would be split between Playworks and the Piedmont Education Foundation.

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