Posted by boston.com August 17, 2013 10:00 AM
On August 8, 2013, the Roosevelt Elementary School PTO (PTO) concluded their multi-year fundraising campaign, in partnership with the City of Melrose and the Amazing Grace Golf Tournament, to fund a new, accessible playground that serves students of all grades and needs levels as well as the entire Melrose community. The grand opening included a dedication lead by Danielle Champoux Bohnke, parent and PTO co-president and a Mayor's Night Out with Melrose Mayor Robert Dolan. Students and neighbors enjoyed a fun-filled evening playing on the new recreational area, eating slush and listening to music!
During the dedication, Danielle Champoux Bohnke thanked the Roosevelt teachers who have been patient over the years, eagerly awaiting a playground that met student needs, especially Joanne Kimball-Sherman who has dreamed of this day for some time. In addition, she thanked Melrose businesses that offered fundraising services and placement of pennies cans, and all in our community who donated through purchases and spare change. The most notable boosters were our dedicated and enthusiastic students who rallied to contribute their own financial portion in making the playground a reality. She also thanked the members of the PTO Playground Committee. The 15 members of this committee, including parents, Principal Basile and the entire PTO Board, have been working diligently on this project for over a year’!
“I am proud of the partnership between the City and the Roosevelt [Elementary School] PTO, and I enjoyed working with President John Tramontozzi, the Board of Aldermen, Joan Bell [Superintendent of Mount Hood and Public Open Spaces], the Melrose Recreation Department and Melrose Department of Public Works to building a better, more accessible playground for the Roosevelt community and City of Melrose,” said Melrose Mayor Robert Dolan. “It [the playground] enhances the school experience for students and staff and adds greatly to our community – both at Roosevelt and throughout the City. I want to thank the Roosevelt PTO for all their hard work in helping to make this dream a reality.”
‘Little over a year ago a 'seed was planted' to see if building a new Roosevelt Elementary School playground was possible. Thousands of pennies later, we are experiencing the fruits of everyone's labor’. states Cheryl Cooke, parent and committee co-chair.
‘Thanks to the hard work and financial contributions, the [Roosevelt Elementary School] PTO is proud to have met our fundraising goal for the new playground’! said committee co-chair and parent, Jen McAndrew. ‘As you know, when the Roosevelt Elementary School playground was originally designed, more than 10 years ago, the school housed a preschool program and the school population was considerably smaller. There were approximately 80-90 children playing on the playground at any one time (during one recess period). Now that number is about 150, and the site is used year-round by Education Stations, CampusKIDS and the community. The Roosevelt School also has many students with special needs who were not served by the previous play facility’.
“I’m thrilled that the new playground will serve all students, including those with special needs, at the Roosevelt School, which is now the largest elementary school in Melrose.” explains Roosevelt Elementary School Principal Grace Basile. “This is a great development for the Roosevelt community, the neighborhood, and all of Melrose.”