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West Valley City school wins contest, builds playground

By Keith McCord | Posted - May 4th, 2013 @ 10:43pm


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WEST VALLEY CITY — Last year an email spurred a charter school into action. It was the promise of a playground, something the school didn't have. Dr. Pepper and Snapple offered schools across the country the chance to win a $15,000 grant to help pay for the playground, but the schools had to compete for the cash with an essay and a YouTube video.

Endeavor Hall in West Valley City won that contest. Saturday, the school got the prize.

From drilling and ratcheting to a visit from Chewbacca, the new community playground has a little of everything. But mostly, it has passionate volunteers.

"I've loved using the saw. And last night, I got to drive the bobcat. So, those things are fun for me," said build coordinator Liz Taylor.

"The $15,000 that was given towards this was a huge jump in allowing the kids to play instead of just having an old parking lot instead of a playground," said Brittney Cummins, who sits on the Board of Directors of Endeavor Hall.

"They are trying to encourage a community effort and so part of their model is that it's going to be a community built project," she said. "And so we've had to get volunteers involved in the fundraising part of this as well as getting out here and putting up the playground."

50 volunteers spent hundreds of hours planning and organizing everything from equipment rental to child care before the first shovel went into the ground.

"I think it has value in the process of people coming together to build it," Cummins said. "They have gotten to know each other in a way we don't do when we just come together to pick up our kids at school."

She hoped that students will understand a life lesson....

"When we really want something, I think we can, with the help of others, go out and make it happen and really get excited about projects."

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