WOONSOCKET â€“ The Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) and national non-profit KaBOOM! have awarded the Bernon Heights Elementary School PTO, in partnership with the Woonsocket Education Department (WED), a $15,000 Letâ€™s Play Community Construction Grant to build a playground.
The grant is part of Letâ€™s Play, a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to get kids and families active nationwide. In 2011, as part of Letâ€™s Play, Dr Pepper Snapple Group made a $15 million, three-year commitment to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to promoting safe playground development.
â€śFor several years, the Bernon Heights PTO has been working hard to raise the funds needed to build a playground,â€ť said Amy Thibault, PTO member and Playground Committee Chair. â€śThis much-needed grant has given us the remaining funding needed to break ground on a new playspace for the schoolâ€™s students.â€ť
Bernon Heightsâ€™ playground initiative began several years ago, when a student approached the PTO and asked the group to build a playground for the schoolâ€™s children. Since then, the PTO has held numerous fundraisers to raise money for the project, including the creation of the annual Bernon Heights PTO Spookfest, a Halloween-themed festival that features a Spooky Trail, arts and crafts and other kid-friendly activities.
Last summer, the PTO hired students from RiverzEdge Arts Project to create a â€śpaintedâ€ť playground on the blacktop outside the school. Building an actual playground adjacent to the school is the next step in this multi-year effort.
With the Letâ€™s Play Community Construction Grant, the PTO is now able to fast-track the construction of a playground and is beginning the planning process. Work will continue throughout the summer, with a community â€śplayground buildâ€ť scheduled for the fall. Anyone interested in making a monetary donation to the project or participating in the playground build can visit the Bernon Heights playground page at www.OurDreamPlayground.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
â€śWe are happy to be working with both the Woonsocket Education Department and the City of Woonsocket on this exciting project,â€ť added Thibault. â€śWhen completed, this playground will encourage physical activity and creativity, and provide Bernonâ€™s students with a safe and engaging place to play.â€ť
Schools Supt. Giovanna Donoyan was â€śthrilledâ€ť by news of the grant.
â€śThe Bernon PTO has led the charge to provide a fabulous opportunity for our students,â€ť said Donoyan. â€śThe children will now have a beautiful playground to enjoy and add to their physical activity. This is an all around healthy opportunity!"