Play is essential to childhood development. The students at C.H. Campbell in Canfield took their "essential development" seriously Monday, March 5 at the Annual Winterfest. The event filled the school with inflatable bounce units, games of skill and chance, not to mention the raffle baskets. The event was held by the Canfield PTO to raise funds to renovate a well-used playground.
More than 700 students and parents attended the event to take a chance at 10 baskets featuring hundreds of dollars in gift cards, themed items such as art supplies, boys and girls toys. Additional raffles overflowed tables with gift certificates, jewelry and bicycles donated by area businesses.
"This really was a team effort by all of the parents who donated items toward the themed baskets to area businesses who supplied gift cards and other items to the PTO," says Christy Durham, PTO chairperson.
Brooke Demidovich, Tejinder Kaur, and Hannah Bricker rock out at the photo booth during the C.H. Campbell Winterfest last week.
Students played, bounced, and danced to music for two-and-a-half hours and were able to complete a passport for a prize at the end.
Overall, through admissions, basket and raffle sales the event raised more than $5,000. These funds will be set aside for the purchase of new playground equipment. The district is currently obtaining bids from multiple sources to replace the playground equipment system, ground coverings and bring the area up to current standards of accessibility.
The current playground has been in place for about 20 years and is showing its wear from many hours of recess and fun.
"We recently had to remove a slide from the playground due to safety concerns. The constant wear and tear had caused the slide to break apart, causing sharp edges that could hurt students," says Travis Lavery, C.H. Campbell principal.
Lavery continued, "In the current budget cycle, it is not feasible to purchase equipment that meets today's standards for access. We are grateful for the help of the PTO to make this major improvement."
PTO has assisted, through their fundraising, in other improvements such as computer projectors, document cameras and teacher amplification systems. The purpose of the PTO is to help keep the school functioning smoothly through communication with parents and providing support toward obtaining new equipment or technology in the schools when possible.
"Children need this time to exercise their bodies to be able to have the focus to continue their studies in the classrooms. With the efforts of the PTO, the school is one step closer to ensuring that they have a safe, fun environment," Lavery added.