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Welch School a Finalist in Video Contest for Playground Grant [VIDEO]

The Welch School is one of 10 finalists across the country for one of five grants to help pay for a new school playground. The projects with the most votes get the grants.

If you vote once every day between now and June 22, you can help the win a grant for a new playground.

The Friends of the Welch School Playground have been chipping in for years to raise $90,000 for a new play structure, and this time they're banking on a visual appeal for the necessary support.

The playground committee submitted an application to KaBOOM! for the Let's Play 2012 Video Contest and the Welch School is now one of 10 finalists across the nation. The top five videos with the highest vote totals each get a $15,000 grant.

The video, filmed by parents, shows six students attempting to play on the school grounds, but frustrated, to say the least, with only a sandy pit left where a dilapidated tot lot used to be until it was torn down.

The youngsters also share their thoughts on the sandy pit.

"My cats like it...it reminds them of something," says one boy. "It's almost like the beach, but without the ocean or the pretty views," says a girl.

The money is nowhere near close to capping off fundraising efforts, but it's a good chunk. Devin Rozansky, a parent who worked on the video and updates the committee's Facebook page, says fundraising efforts thus far have brought in $6,500.

The grant is funded under the Let's Play initiative by the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM!, which is pledging to help build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013.

The Welch is the last elementary school in Peabody to build a new playground. In recent years, the ,  and  schools replaced their aging structures with new equipment thanks to major fundraising efforts and some Community Preservation Act money.

The  last summer – the community raised $32,000 and $35,000 came from the CPA.

The district itself has not budgeted the capital funds needed to undertake such projects in recent years.

A small tot-lot served as a playground for preschoolers to fifth-graders and other neighborhood kids until last spring when it was deemed unsafe and removed.

Staff and parents say children would often return home with ripped clothing, scratches and bruises after attempting to play on the rusting, deteriorating structure.

You can vote online here until June 22.

Devin June 06, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Thank you for spreading the word! You can vote once every day - you must have a facebook account to vote.
Jennifer Davis June 06, 2012 at 12:08 PM
How much money do you have? How much more are you in need of?
John Castelluccio (Editor) June 06, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Jen, the committee says it has raised $6,500 so far and needs a grand total of $90,000 for the playground. My fault, should have made that clearer in the story.
John Rozen June 06, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Thanks for helping John. we need people to vote, every day..... and get the word out http://www.letsplay.com/page/video-contest.html All it takes is two clicks.... click on the link, click the vote button under William A. Welch Sr. Elementary School. SUPPORT THE WELCH SUPPORT PEABODY......
Devin June 07, 2012 at 07:02 PM
We just found out we are currently in 3rd place. Thank you for your support! Please keep voting every day! http://www.letsplay.com/page/video-contest.html

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