Grant to help expand new playground at Ocean Avenue School in Portland

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PORTLAND — Ocean Avenue School has been awarded a $15,000 grant to help construct a new playground.

The $15,000 Let’s Play construction grant is from Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit that works to provide places to play within walking distance of every child.

Ocean Avenue School was one of 35 organizations that received the grant as part of the Let’s Play initiative, a $15 million, three-year commitment from Dr. Pepper Snapple Group to build or fix 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013.

The grant will be used to augment the $75,000 state-funded playground at the new school, which opened to students in February 2011. The grant requires a $9,000 match, which will be raised by the Ocean Avenue School Parent Teacher Organization.

The grant will pay for a climbing structure with a balance element, benches for adults who are supervising children and a structure to provide shade. A “Community Build Day” is scheduled for May 5 to install the new equipment.

Principal Beverly Coursey said the elements to be added in May were taken out of original playground plans to allow for more swings and a larger monkey bar system.

Students at the school were involved in designing the playground and are excited for the addition of new elements, Coursey said.

She said the new elements will help make the playground feel more complete and expects the build day to be a “phenomenal” community event.

“This will make it nicer for the community to use,” Coursey said. “It’s just wonderful to have so many people supporting the school.” 

Gillian Graham can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or ggraham@theforecaster.net. Follow Gillian on Twitter: @grahamgillian.

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