Photo caption: Prescott Unified School District Superintendent Joe Howard and PUSD Education Foundation President Krista Carman were pleased the foundation could grant $20,000 to Granite Mountain School for construction of a contemporary playground for fifth- and sixth-grade students. The school was selected following intensive review of five applications by the Education Foundation board of directors.
The Prescott Unified School District Education Foundation (PUSDEF) granted $20,000 to Granite Mountain School for the construction of gaga ball pits and new playground equipment for fifth and sixth graders.
It is the first time in its five-year history that the PUSDEF has given money to a school for a formal campus beautification project, said Krista Carman, foundation president.
The application, called “Kids at Play — The Gift of Unstructured and Innovative Play,” was selected from among five submitted by Prescott school personnel to the PUSDEF board.
Carman said a local home builder, Aspen Valley Homes, volunteered to help prepare the grounds for installation of the ball pits and the playground equipment. Carman said the company will donate approximately one-half the cost of ground preparation.
School principal Teresa Bruso told board members the playground equipment was desperately needed to encourage students to join in unstructured creative and imaginative play that had immense physical benefits.
Gaga ball pits usually are open-air, octagon-shaped fenced pits where children can play what commonly has been called dodgeball without fear of the ball going out of bounds. The application requested that three gaga pits be funded.
Playground equipment will be installed adjacent to the pits.
Since its founding as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, the PUSDEF has granted more than $150,000 to grant applicants from various Prescott district schools, Carman said. “We wish we could grant more, for our various schools have significant needs for external support,” she said.
Those interested in more details about contributing to the PUSDEF can call (928) 717-3204 or email Future@PUSDEducationFoundation.com.