Become a part of Adaire’s foundation

Al­ex­an­der Adaire School is rais­ing funds for a play­ground, pic­nic area and garden by selling ac­tu­al pieces of the school to stu­dents, alumni and busi­nesses.

The yard at Al­ex­an­der Adaire Ele­ment­ary School, 1300 E. Palmer St., looks much like many oth­er school­yards in the city.

It is bleak, bare and devoid of any play­ground equip­ment for its 450 pu­pils. However, the school’s new prin­cip­al, Jenette Oddo, is try­ing to change that.

Since her ar­rival last year, Oddo said she has ima­gined build­ing a mod­ern “so­cial” play­ground, com­plete with a pic­nic area and garden on the site of the ex­ist­ing school­yard. 

That dream came one step closer to be­com­ing a real­ity in Oc­to­ber, when Adaire re­ceived a grant from the Penn Treaty Spe­cial Ser­vices Dis­trict to partly fund the build­ing of a brand new, child-friendly so­cial play­ground.

In ad­di­tion to the 1,300 square-foot play­ground area, the play­ground will in­clude a garden, a re­cess area with pic­nic benches, a fac­ulty park­ing area, a mo­sa­ic mur­al on the facade of the lobby en­trance, and a tree ded­ic­ated to the memory of Eric Spicer, an Adaire teach­er who passed away in 2009.

While the ma­jor­ity of the fund­ing for the pro­ject is ex­pec­ted to come from the PTSSD, it will not cov­er all of the costs. 

Oddo, along with the mem­bers of the Adaire Home and School As­so­ci­ation, came up with an idea to raise the re­main­ing money.  The found­a­tion of the school is made up of 571 in­di­vidu­al bricks — these bricks will be offered to pu­pils and their fam­il­ies at a cost of $10 each. 

The pu­pil’s or the fam­ily’s name will then be en­graved on a small met­al plaque and placed on the brick.  The pro­ject is be­ing re­ferred to as “Be­come a Part of Adaire’s Found­a­tion.”

When the bid­ding pro­cess was com­plete, Play­world Sys­tems of cent­ral Pennsylvania was se­lec­ted as the vendor for the pro­ject.

Play­world touts it­self as an “en­vir­on­ment­ally friendly” man­u­fac­turer — in it’s equip­ment, it uses so-called “Eco-Ar­mor,” a dur­able ther­mo­plastic coat­ing av­er­aging a 38 per­cent lower car­bon foot­print than tra­di­tion­al PVC coat­ings.

Idilia Venti, whose son, Ro­d­er­ick, at­tends the first grade at Adaire, is thrilled with the idea of a new play­ground.

“All chil­dren should have ac­cess to a play­ground; it’s a rite of pas­sage for a child,” she said. “A play­ground and garden will stim­u­late cre­at­ive play and en­hance com­mu­nic­a­tion among the chil­dren.”

Oddo said she is a big be­liev­er in the im­port­ance of in­cor­por­at­ing play in­to a child’s school day.

“In the end, our stu­dents put so much in­to their aca­dem­ic achieve­ment that it would be won­der­ful if we could provide them with a space that they could re­lax and have fun be­ing a kid,” Oddo said.

If all goes as planned, the pro­ject is ex­pec­ted to be un­der way by the spring of 2013.

The “found­a­tion bricks” also are avail­able to school alumni, neigh­bors and loc­al busi­nesses. Oddo said she is es­pe­cially hop­ing that loc­al busi­nesses will sup­port the pro­ject and make sig­ni­fic­ant dona­tions.

Adaire found­a­tion bricks are avail­able im­me­di­ately and can be pur­chased at the fol­low­ing price points:

•$10: En­graved small plaque with stu­dent or fam­ily name in sil­ver (this is for cur­rent stu­dents only).

•$25: En­graved small plaque with stu­dent or fam­ily name in gold (this is for stu­dents - past or present and/or neigh­bor­hood res­id­ents).

•$50:  En­graved small plaque with busi­ness name in sil­ver (for busi­nesses).

•$100: En­graved large sil­ver plaque with busi­ness/fam­ily name in pre­ferred loc­a­tion of build­ing

•$500: En­graved large gold plaque with busi­ness/fam­ily name in pre­ferred loc­a­tion of build­ing, along with spe­cial in­vit­a­tion to all school events, as well as re­cog­ni­tion at gradu­ation each year with an award titled in their name and giv­en to a de­serving gradu­ate.

Any­one wish­ing to donate to the Adaire play­ground pro­ject and have a com­mem­or­ative brick in the school’s found­a­tion should con­tact Jenette Oddo at 215-291-4712.

Con­trib­ut­or Greg Pacana can be reached at gp­pacana@ya­

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