HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii Department Of Education along with non-profit 3R’s started an initiative to repair, replace and add playgrounds to public schools statewide.

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Linda Chu Takayama, Hawaii 3R’s Treasurer, said “we’re very pleased that the legislature appropriated $18 million to Hawaii 3R’s, which we think will build about 100 playgrounds in schools across the state.”

This is a significant increase compared to last year when 3R’s said it budgeted $3 million statewide, which helped repair or replace 21 school playgrounds — six playgrounds on Oahu, three on Maui and Lanai, three on Kauai and nine on Big Island.

3R’s said they first must go through a design and planning process before any repairs and replacements happen, and they are looking at a two-year plan, start to finish.

“Playgrounds are very specialized equipment, nothing like the ones, at least the ones we knew, when we were growing up. They’re very specialized for children these days.”

Linda Chu Takayama

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Of course, this all would not be possible without one special person who they’re honoring today as it is the 10th anniversary of his passing. “3R’s was started in 2001 by senator Dan Inouye because he felt very strongly that the public schools deserved a little extra effort. We think that the rain we got this morning is an indication of him looking down and blessing all of us for the continuation of his work,” said Takayama.