The students of Elizabeth Haddon Elementary School will soon have a new playground to enjoy their recess on this school year. However, they wouldn’t have it without the help of the community.
The Elizabeth Haddon Parent Teacher Association is thankful for the community’s contribution over the past two years to help raise funds for the playground and is now looking for volunteers to come to the school on Saturday, Sept. 10 to help with a community build of the playground. This will help save costs and is a great way to help out the community.
“What would be a better way to start the school year than with a community build? It feels great to help in my opinion. And to see all of the things the PTA does, that it really does go to the kids, and shows if we all get together, look at what we can accomplish. We couldn’t do this if we didn’t have the type of community that we have,” Liz Barrett, of the PTA and Playground Committee, said.
The Lizzie Haddon PTA has been raising funds for a new playground for second through fifth graders the past two years through its annual events such as the Fall Fair and the 5k. Barrett said the playground was much needed, as the old one was outdated and not everyone could use it.
The Playground Committee, made up of Barrett, Aimmee Powers and Reena Scheaffer, worked with school district physical therapist Cari Neinzel and playground professional Mike Wiley of General Recreation Inc. to make sure there was something for everyone to enjoy.
Barrett also wanted to acknowledge Principal Gerry Bissinger for approving the final plan and for always supporting the PTA, and Haddonfield Public Schools grounds supervisor Rick Sparks and his crew for all of the prep work in taking down the playground this summer to prepare for the community build.
The PTA had done a community build previously with the smaller playground at Lizzie Haddon in October 2014 and received a great response. So it decided to have another one for this year’s new playground. Plus, it saves about $10,000, Barrett said.
“Instead of the (playground company) sending a group of their people out, they only need to send one person who can lead the pack. Plus, this is a great way for parents to be involved,” Barrett said.
All levels of skill are invited to help. Barrett said there is something for everyone, from heavy lifting to spreading mulch.
When the playground is built, Barrett knows the children will be ecstatic and thinks children will love that their parents helped to build it.
“I think the kids would really like to see the parents involved so they can say, ‘my parent helped build that.’ And it helps them to appreciate it more,” Barrett said.
This build will be for about 75 percent of the new playground, which is the center and main part of it. The PTA is planning three phases, with a second and third phase added later, as more money is needed for surrounding equipment.
The community build will take place at Elizabeth Haddon Elementary School on Sept. 10 starting at 7:30 a.m., and will most likely take up most of the day. Anyone over 18 is welcome to volunteer, and children 13 years and older are allowed to help as well, but parental permission is required.
Those who are interested in helping or would like to know more are asked to email Barrett at Lizbarrett11@yahoo.com or sign up online at m.signupgenius.com/#!/showSignUp/70a0845a4af2fa31-community.