It’s been a tense month for the finalists in our Promote Your Project Video Contest, who have had to rally thousands of votes for a chance at a playground equipment grant! Because people could vote once a day, the challenge wasn’t just recruiting voters but also keeping them engaged over multiple weeks.
All entrants to our contest were tasked with creating a video that showed us—and the world—why they need a new playground. We chose 10 to compete in the finals and encouraged them to rally their communities by placing stories in local papers and on local television stations, sending e-mails to friends and contacts, and using Facebook and Twitter appeals.
A hearty congratulations to our three awardees, and kudos to all the finalists who have worked so hard to mobilize their communities and gain support for their projects!
$5,000 Awardee: Queen Elizabeth Public School, with 39,886 votes
In Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Queen Elizabeth Public School serves 234 students ranging in age from 3.5 to 14 years. For the past 30 years, Queen Elizabeth has had only one play structure—the dino climber. The students often say that they would love new playground equipment and are most excited about getting a slide, rock wall, monkey bars, a fire pole and a tether ball. The playground is being built in honor of MCpl Scott Vernelli a Master Corporal, a member of The Royal Canadian Regiment who was killed in Afghanistan last year. Learn more about this project.
$3,000 Awardee: Little Hearts Big Smiles, with 37,697 votes
Little Hearts Big Smiles dreams of creating a place for kids with special needs to play in Wilmington, Ohio. It is estimated that one in six children are diagnosed as having some form of disability in the United States. The goal of the project is not only to build a safe, fully accessible playground, but also to educate others about the need for accessibility for all. The play structure will include a swing sway, allowing children with disabilities to lead play activities; musical elements, including bongo drums and chimes; and balance strengthening equipment. Learn more about their project.
$1,000 Awardee: SLLIS, with 36,135 votes
St. Louis Language Immersion Schools (SLLIS) operates The French School and The Spanish School, two tuition-free elementary campuses with total language immersion curricula serving students from the Greater St. Louis region. The school’s asphalt parking lot has been fenced, swept and painted, ready for a new playground! SLLIS plans to offer its 300 urban students new physical recreation equipment, an outdoor classroom, shade structures, picnic tables, gardens and interactive areas. Learn more about this project.
Click here to see all the finalists. If there are any projects in your area, please consider getting involved!