Kids Get to Plan Their Own School Playground

Share Article

North Valley School, Santa Rosa, a Victor program, receives land and financial donation for playground project

“I am just blown away by the generosity," said, Gala Goodwin, Executive Director. "It's going to be a special place for special kids.”

Every once in a while, big business and education come together in a way that is memorable and encourages the spirit of philanthropy in all of us. North Valley School, Santa Rosa, a private non-profit tucked in an industrial cul-de-sac, is in the middle of experiencing such a moment. North Valley School does not have the public profile of other Sonoma County schools, but for years it has provided education and mental health services to children who are referred from public districts around the state. Most of its 48 students live at a related treatment center. A quarter of the students are deaf and virtually all have some form of post-traumatic stress disorder, said Executive Director Gala Goodwin.

This spring, they are getting an opportunity that most schools will never have - - they are helping to design their own playground, which will be built with the help of volunteers on March 23, 2011. The land to build this playground is a one-acre plot of land that is between the school and the former 7UP distribution center. The 7UP branch allowed the school to use the land since 1999. Last year, however, this arrangement faced a significant challenge. Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS), which owns 7UP, moved the branch to Petaluma as part of a region consolidation, and put the facility up for sale. The school was not in a position to buy the land it had been using, so Gala Goodwin floated the idea of a donation to the branch manager and listing agent. Eventually, last August Ms. Goodwin received a call from DPS saying that while the land could not be donated, DPS was willing to sell it for one dollar.

As if that wasn’t enough, the company also asked if the school wanted to participate in Let’s Play, a community partnership led by DPS to get kids and families active nationwide. The first Let’s Play initiative is a $15 million, three-year commitment to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to saving play KaBOOM!. Together, DPS and KaBOOM! will build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds around the country. That was a good day for Gala Goodwin and the North Valley School! That call led to the events of Thursday, February 3, where 15 students had the opportunity to lay out their vision for the design of the playground using elements from KaBOOM!. The kids came up with rope bridges, monkey bars, dome-shaped climbing bars and bouncing buttons, among other things. After the kids did their work, a planning committee came up with three mock designs based on their ideas. But the hard work is just beginning.

The project is slated to be built on March 23 — and scores of volunteers are needed, Goodwin said. The school is also raising about $14,000 for its share of costs for the project. That's just a sliver of the project's total cost paid for by DPS and KaBOOM!, Goodwin said. “I am just blown away by the generosity,” she said. “It's going to be a special place for special kids.”

To volunteer or donate, call North Valley School, Santa Rosa at (707) 523-2334.

About Victor
Victor is a company that helps troubled kids and families integrate and become successful members of society. We step in and provide programs and support to help them be successful, offering hope by giving tangible solutions for helping these kids succeed and integrate into society in ways they and their families never thought possible.
For more information please visit online at http://www.victor.org.

About Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. (NYSE: DPS) is the leading producer of flavored beverages in North America and the Caribbean. Our success is fueled by more than 50 brands that are synonymous with refreshment, fun and flavor. We have 6 of the top 10 non-cola soft drinks, and 9 of our 12 leading brands are No. 1 in their flavor categories. In addition to our flagship Dr Pepper and Snapple brands, our portfolio includes Sunkist soda, 7UP, A&W, Canada Dry, Crush, Mott's, Squirt, Hawaiian Punch, Penafiel, Clamato, Schweppes, Venom Energy, Rose's and Mr & Mrs T mixers. To learn more about our iconic brands and Plano, Texas-based company, please visit http://www.drpeppersnapple.com.

About Let’s Play
Let’s Play is a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. (NYSE: DPS) to get kids and families active nationwide. The first Let’s Play initiative is a $15 million, three-year commitment to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit that’s saving play. Together, through Let’s Play, DPS and KaBOOM! will build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013, benefiting an estimated five million children across North America.

About KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Because all children deserve to be active and healthy, KaBOOM! works to ensure that every child in America has a great place to play within walking distance. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together businesses and communities to construct more than 1,900 new places to play across North America. KaBOOM! also fights the Play Deficit with online tools that empower communities to join the movement to save play. The KaBOOM! website, kaboom.org, allows communities to self-organize and take action to support play on a both a local and national level. For more information please visit http://www.kaboom.org.

###

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Gala Goodwin

707-523-2334
Email >
Visit website