TOWN OF GENEVA — A parent group is hard at work raising funds to build a new playground at Woods Elementary School.
Friends of Woods School, which is a parent organization, is behind many of the elementary school’s recreational activities for students, teachers and other parents.
“What we’ve kind of seen on a national scale is that funding for public schools is decreased,” said Alison Burke, one of the group’s board members. “You really count on these parent groups to come in and raise funds for extracurricular activities, or anything extra.”
The biggest goal on their horizon is to finance a new playground for the school — a project they expect to cost about $100,000.
The group wants to improve the school’s current playground, which is a two-piece set that the board says is outdated, not entertaining for all age groups, and not wheelchair-accessible.
“We just want every kid to have fun at recess,” Burke said.
The plan the group has in place is to build a playground that is more accommodating for all students.
The group hopes to complete their playground project by the summer of 2020.
“It’s a lofty goal, but we’ve had a lot of community support, and I think that’s what’s gonna get us there,” Burke said.
To raise funds for the project, the group has already hosted a benefit concert, a color run, a silent auction and an event called “Tape the Teacher,” in which students paid to duct tape two of the school’s teachers to the gymnasium wall in February.
And there are more events to come.
According to another board member, Donna Pinner, the fundraisers are intended not only to raise money, but to entertain the school’s community.
“Having people together to do something fun is huge,” Pinner said.
Friends of Woods School, which is led by a six-member board, has been helping the school for more than a decade. The board members estimate that 25 percent of the students’ parents consistently volunteer to help.
The group’s recent events have included a Thanksgiving feast on Nov. 17 and a Christmas breakfast for staff on Dec. 5.
The parent group is also responsible for funding the school’s ski program, and for starting the Woods Acts of Kindness board — a bulletin board listing over 600 good deeds that the students completed last month.
“We have that community spirit. The kids get excited about this stuff,” Pinner said. “And we’re lucky to have that.”