Save the Poland North Elementary Community Playground!
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This petition is to help save the North Elementary Community Playground!
Let me explain...
As a community, we received notification late on Monday evening through social media that the Poland Board of Education was planning to dismantle the North community playground. It didn't list a demolition date or a timeframe of when this would occur. The reason for it was because they said that the "playground has deteriorated due to wear and tear, weather, and some vandalism." The article also stated that the cost of repairs and/or replacement is excessive and there currently is no funding source to do either". The school board never released any financial information though stating how much it would actually cost. They also stated that the playground would be removed and not replaced, leaving our children in the northern part of the village with no nearby outdoor playground options.
On Monday evening a few community members and i went up to the playground to see what was going on and to take note of the situation. We observed that it was neither vandalized or dangerous. In fact, for being twenty years old, it was in phenomenal shape. We all agreed that it could definitely use a little TLC; maybe some fresh rubber surface in certain spots, new seats for the swings, new benches and some fresh paint. We decided to approach the school board with some ideas because we know that we can raise the funds and find volunteers to help fix it. We raised the money twenty years ago, so why couldn't we do it now? My niece, who is 3 years old, had the time of her life playing up there on Monday night. She was never in danger at any time and navigated her way through the playground equipment like a pro. When we told her that the playground was going to be torn down soon because it was "broken", she said "Why? Why don't they fix it, Aunt Annie?". I couldn't have agreed with her more!
Before we even had a chance to approach the school board with our ideas, and literally 13 hours after reading the school board memo, we observed demolition equipment being delivered up to the playground. So, we immediately took action and began to call the school board requesting the superintendent. We also contacted the local news stations. Thankfully, due to our immediate phone calls and action that morning, the superintendent took note that the community was really upset and called the demolition crew and told them to hold off for the time being.
As a community, we are really upset that the school board never even gave us a chance to voice our opinion at a board meeting, to share our concerns or to even raise money to fix or rebuild it. We are upset that they posted the demolition notice on social media the evening before it was scheduled to take place, which was also a holiday when most are enjoying time with their families and not scoping out the Poland schools website for updates and memos. They should have really involved the community on this decision, especially since the playground was built by money raised by community members and the donated labor of many local volunteers. It's a true "community playground", as our residents and volunteers really put their heart and soul into this project years ago. So many individuals and businesses have already pledged to donate money to the cause and to help volunteer to fix it up. We are ready to get involved again!
Their ultimate goal is to tear down the playground and not replace it. If this happens, there will be no playground nearby for village residents to utilize. Every day, no matter the time of the year, the playground is filled with families that come over there to play. Children of all ages enjoy it; toddlers, elementary students, the soccer and baseball teams that practice up there, the high school students that frequent the swings and sometimes event adults! The schools are always promoting healthier lunches and options, yet they want to take away our children's outdoor play areas which promotes health and exercise and combats childhood obesity.
Please call the superintendent and board of education to voice your opinion #330-757-7000 and help save our playground!
North is the first playground to get announced for demolition. They also are considering dismantling others in the community.
What they are doing is a huge disservice to our community and is negligence on their behalf! The school board needs to put the well being of the children and our community first before their own personal or politics agendas. Please sign your name, encourage your family members to sign it as well and help spread the word. Please also come to the board meeting to voice your concerns and opinions on June 26th! The meeting is at 6pm at the Poland Township Hall. The demolition has only been stopped temporarily, so please keep spreading the word as we still have a battle to win and a lot of work to do! I'm going to be taking all of these signatures to the board to show them the support of our community. We truly appreciate all of your support so far!!
-Annie and the North Community
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