First graders at are enjoying the new playground that resulted from a collaborative effort within the community.
The ribbon was cut on March 30 for the new playground, which Friends of Barnum Co-Chair and Barnum Woods parent Todd Weinstein said cost an estimated $40K.
“It was all done, for the most part, outside of the general school district,” Weinstein said. “They didn’t spend any money on it.”
The money came from a variety of sources, including a $20K grant from Legis. Norma Gonsalves’, R-East Meadow, office. The Friends of Barnum also raised $15K with various bracelet sales; bake sales and coin collections throughout East Meadow.
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“It was a partnership between the school community, myself and the business community who advocated for the first graders,” Gonsalves said. “Because of that cooperation, it became a reality.”
The idea for the playground was the brainchild of longtime Barnum Woods gym teacher Don Whearty, and it took about two years for the idea to turn into a completed project.
“The playground we replaced was pretty old,” Weinstein said. “The kids were playing on the old-school metal slides, a couple of swings and that was it.”
“It’s wonderful when you have a vision and you see that vision done,” Weinstein’s Co-Chair Janice Howell said. “It’s a great playground, the children are enjoying it and it’s safe.”