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 Letâs Play Community Construction Grant to build a playground.
The grant is part of Letâs Play, a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to get kids and families active nationwide. In 2011, as part of Letâs Play, Dr Pepper Snapple Group made a $15 million, three-year commitment to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to promoting safe playground development.
âFor several years, the Bernon Heights PTO has been working hard to raise the funds needed to build a playground,â said Amy Thibault, PTO member and Playground Committee Chair. âThis much-needed grant has given us the remaining funding needed to break ground on a new playspace for the schoolâs students.â
Bernon Heightsâ playground initiative began several years ago, when a student approached the PTO and asked the group to build a playground for the schoolâs 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 âpaintedâ 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 Letâs 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 âplayground buildâ 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.
âWe are happy to be working with both the Woonsocket Education Department and the City of Woonsocket on this exciting project,â added Thibault. âWhen completed, this playground will encourage physical activity and creativity, and provide Bernonâs students with a safe and engaging place to play.â
Schools Supt. Giovanna Donoyan was âthrilledâ by news of the grant.
âThe Bernon PTO has led the charge to provide a fabulous opportunity for our students,â said Donoyan. âThe children will now have a beautiful playground to enjoy and add to their physical activity. This is an all around healthy opportunity!"