Parents seek playground makeover
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Nov 16, 2012 | 3115 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Playground makeover contest
Katrina Amistad (left) and Alyssa Gorman play on the swings on the playground used by first through fifth grade students at the school on Wednesday, Nov. 14. The school parent foundation has entered a contest to funding to expand the playground’s equipment.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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MOUNTAIN HOUSE — Bethany Elementary School Foundation members hope the community will help the school win a playground makeover.

When Bethany School was built in 2007 at 570 Escuela Drive, the playground was never adequately sized to support the school’s 450 first- to fifth-grade students, according to Principal Deborah Wingo.

So members of the foundation, who are parents of enrolled students, recently entered a national contest, Healthy Playground Makeover Sweepstakes, in hopes of winning the $30,000 prize that covers the cost of installing new playground equipment.

The contest is designed to reduce childhood obesity by creating healthy environments for children. On the website, residents can vote for their favorite school.

“It doesn’t hurt to try,” said Becki Bradford, parent foundation president, as she watched her two children at the school playground Wednesday, Nov. 14. “It’s not meeting the needs of our current population. We’re asking for more climbing structures. Kids like climbing on stuff. Even a few more swings would be nice.”

The playground has four swings, four climbing walls and a few climbing apparatuses, such as monkey bars and a spiraling metal climbing pole.

Children typically have to wait in line to use some of the equipment, according to Nacera Gorman, who was at the playground Wednesday watching her two children play.

She said the contest was a “great opportunity” for the school to expand the playground.

Bradford said the foundation first heard about the contest Oct. 18 and signed up right away. She said expanding the playground was already on the foundation’s to-do list for the next two years.

Before learning about the contest, Bradford said the foundation had already set a goal of raising $30,000 through various school fundraisers, including a crab feed and auction in February, to upgrade the playground.

Voting for Bethany is a simple process, Bradford said. Once a resident registers on the contest website, that resident can vote once a day by entering his or her ZIP code and clicking on Bethany School.

Votes can be submitted until March 15, and the winner will be announced March 19.

“There is a lot of time left, and some people forget about it,” Bradford said. “We want to get our message out there and keep reminding people (to vote).”

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