New Swings A Welcome Sight At Emerson
The long-held wish to see a swing-set become part of the Emerson Elementary playground has finally been fulfilled, thanks to fundraising by the school’s PTO, its students and families and a generous donation by a local VFW post.
A request for swings at Emerson by the PTO had been turned down by the district in the past because there was not enough room to safely accommodate a six-swing set. However, a letter to Superintendent Jeff Patterson this summer by soon-to-be Emerson fifth-grader Cameron Levis asking why his new school couldn’t have a swing-set like his old school did, swung the pendulum the other way.
“Something about his letter just resonated with me. He’s a kid who just wanted to have fun on some swings at recess,” like students at others schools do, Superintendent Patterson said.
The district found a way to make room for the swings by transplanting four small trees from the playground area to the front of the school. It was up to the school to raise the money for the project.
The PTO contributed $6,000 and the students collected nearly $1,500 through a week-long Spare Change fundraiser. Also contributing $1,150 was the Edgewater VFW Post 387. Emerson head custodian Mary Dunn is a member of the post, which used to be located in Lakewood and has many Lakewood residents as members still.
“We have a lot of roots here in Lakewood,” said Post Commander Jason Pleszko, a Lakewood High graduate who attended the ribbon-cutting for the swings on Wednesday.
While each of the approximately 500 students who gathered on the playground for the ribbon-cutting would have loved to be the first ones on the swings, that honor went to the students of Mrs. Germaine’s class, who raised the most money during the Spare Change drive.
If the smiles of the first six students on the swings are any indication, the latest addition to the Emerson playground is sure to bring plenty of joy throughout the year.