CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Two CCISD elementary schools are close to getting new playgrounds following fundraising efforts by the schools and their Parent Teacher Associations.
In just three months, Mireles Elementary PTA raised more than $37,000 to qualify for a grant from the company building the playground, which the company will match to build the playground.
“The past two years have been crazy for the kid with COVID and all that, so we just wanted to do something that would make them super excited to come to school, along with the great things they’re doing inside the classroom,” said PTA Vice President Allison Fosnaugh.
The new playground will replace an aging playground on campus. Fosnaugh said the fundraising efforts were helped by individual members of the community as well as corporate backers. She said even the students got involved in the fundraising efforts; some of them holding lemonade stands to raise money.
“They made signs, they advertised, the moms helped a little bit, to facilitate it and post stuff on social media, but the kids did all the work, they counted all the money. Each of those lemonade stands raised between 400 and 500 dollars,” she said.
Adelaida Fields, the president of the Mireles PTA, has a child at the school currently, and has younger children who will eventually attend the school. She is excited for the new equipment for all of the kids to enjoy.
“We both have little ones, I have an older one at the school, but we both have little ones, so they’re going to get to enjoy it during their time at Mireles. It’s just nice that the entire community came together to provide this for them,” she said.
Across town, Schanen Estates Elementary School has been without a playground for more than two years, after the old playground had to be torn down.
“We’re just trying to get it for our students now, because it’s been long enough not having anything to play with,” said PTA president Angel Cantu. “We have 14 swings for the 375 students we have in the school. So, it’s very limited on what they have, and what they can play with. This playground would be a huge blessing to our school, and we really need, so that’s why I’ve been working diligently for two years.”
Schanen Estates is short of its goal, and has started a GoFundMe to help raise the necessary money.
“We would do really well if we can get another $15,000. We’ve been really pushing hard on all our fundraising efforts, and we’re at that very last bit that we need,” said principal Cori Gilbert. “We want to reach out to our Schanen Estates alumni, we know we have a lot of successful people who have been through our system here, and if you’re thinking about how you can give back, think about us, we need your help.”
Cantu is a father of two children at the school, but he is also the physical education teacher, so he knows how important the playground can be for kids to get them outside and active.
“The important thing is having the kids move, they’re in class all day long, and they only have 15-20 minutes of recess a day, plus PE. They need that play time, they need that right now, because with COVID, everybody is just waiting to go outside,” he said.
The Mireles Elementary playground is expected to be done in the next few months. The Schanen Estates Elementary playground is expected to be built a few months after the necessary funds are raised.