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Guilderland Archives The Altamont Enterprise, Ocotober 27, 2011
By Melissa Hale-Spencer
GUILDERLAND Sometimes kids like to invent their own ways to play.
So says Beth Bini the principal of Westmere Elementary School, explaining the impetus behind the brand new Farley Field.
“We have playground apparatus,” she said, but children like to invent other ways to play,” she said this week.
One of the popular games at Westmere is Wall Ball, where kids bounce their balls against the solid brick wall of the school. “The grass disappeared,” said Bini. “We had a dust bowl, a dirt pit. We wanted to make it safer for them.”
So, in the name of a beloved teacher, the late Daryl Farley, the school raised over $6,000 to pave the play area.
Farley, who taught at Westmere for 21 years, died on Oct. 31, 2009 at the age of 49. She loved teaching and was loved in return by her students and their families.
To raise the funds, the staff put on homegrown talent shows called Farley Follies. The Westmere parent-Teacher Association pitched in and other fund-raisers included bake sales and drawings.
L. Browe Asphalt Services was hired and the play area was paved.
“We’re just so happy to have a place for young children to play safely and creatively,” said Bini, “because that’s what Miss Farley loved. It’s a way to honor her for many years to come.”