SARATOGA SPRINGS — The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) helped students at Saratoga Springs High School and Maple Avenue Middle School maintain proper social distancing while eating outdoors this school year.
NYRA loaned 175 picnic tables to the Saratoga Springs City School District. The picnic tables, which are a fixture of the popular backyard area at Saratoga Race Course, were loaded onto trucks at Saratoga Race Course throughout the morning to be delivered to the two local schools.
“The first time my family ate out we ate in Congress Park at one of the picnic tables that NYRA donated to the city,” Saratoga Springs High School assistant principal, Devin Wolpert, said last week to the Daily Gazette. “It just felt so good to be outside and to be eating.
“It just kind of popped into my head that this would be great for kids to be able to socialize outdoors, eat lunch, something that not only solves a logistical program, weather permitting, but also gives kids a better cafeteria experience. Instead of eating socially distanced indoors, it's outdoors across a nice table.”
“I saw the hundreds of picnic tables sadly lined up against the fence which kind of pieced it together,” Wolpert said. “I feel bad that there aren't people at the track to use them, but at the same time we could really use some durable outdoor furniture to provide an eating area for our kids.”
One hundred of the picnic tables are expected to be arranged at the high school with the remainder placed at Maple Avenue Middle School.