CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — For two years, Schanen Estates Elementary students have been without a playground. The playground was condemned two years ago, and for the last two years, the school and PTA have been trying to raise money for a new playground.
Finally, thanks to the donations of two anonymous non-profit organizations, the school will be getting not one, but two new playgrounds, the school announced Friday.
“It’s a huge Christmas blessing,” said Schanen Estates physical education teacher and PTA president Angel Cantu. “Our kids have really, really struggled to have some kind of activity outside; playing in the grass, you can only do so much.”
The two donations total $100,000, which allows the school to build a playground for younger kids along with the older kids.
During the assembly, the students erupted when they found out they were getting new playgrounds.
“We’re really excited that we’ll have a playground,” said 4th grader Tristan Padron. “We’ve all been working really hard, especially coach, to get the playground.”
After two years of fundraising, to finally get the necessary money for the playground, Cantu was relieved to be able to announce the new playgrounds.
“We’re truly blessed for these organizations that stepped up to help us out,” he said. “It feels really, really good. Especially we get to choose colors, they said, ‘do you want covers for your playground to help it last longer?’ and we were like, ‘if we could afford that, yes we would,’ and we could.”
“It’s very exciting, because we’ve been working really hard selling, and coach has been working really hard. To finally get it, it feels wonderful,” said 5th grader Kennedi Escobar.
Without a playground to play on, the students only had swings and a blacktop to play on.
“We try to make our own fun with games, and then we go on the swings,” Padron said.
“We usually just play football, or whatever we can make the best of,” Escobar said.
But now, the students will not have to make their own fun, they will have new equipment to enjoy.
Padron said the thing she was most looking forward to was “to have fun with my friends.”
Cantu said the PTA will still need to contribute about $19,000 to getting the playgrounds built, but the money donated takes a lot of pressure off.
“We were going to exhaust everything in our funds just to put the deposit,” he said. “It’s all going to go towards the kids, to show how thankful, and how blessed we are.”
The staff, students, PTA, and, of course, Cantu, are appreciative of the two organizations that donated the money for the new playgrounds.
“They wanted to be anonymous, and that’s what we’re going to give them. But, you know who you are, and we want to say thank you, especially for our students, because it’s really been hard here at our school,” Cantu said.
The school has already put down the deposit for the new equipment, and Cantu said construction is expected to be done, depending on how long it takes to get materials, by the end of the school year, or in the summer.