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Who we are...
We are the Carver Playground Committee, a team of 14 parents and educators that are committed to changing the landscape of our boring, flat asphalt playground. Each member brings a unique talent to the table, and we have set a goal of building the best, most accessible play structure in the LB School District. Funds collected through this website another fundraisers are forwarded to the LBUSD, who is facilitating the purchase of the playground components.
The Carver Playground Committee Mission Statement:
To positively impact the lives of all children, regardless of physical ability by creating an Inclusive play space.
Carver Elementary is one of the only schools in Long Beach LBUSD without a play structure on it's main campus.
After 20 years of talk about a play structure, a group of parents got together and took action.
A large percentage of our current student body rely on wheelchairs, walkers or artificial limbs for mobility. We've set out to build a playground that ALL of our students can equally benefit from, and play together on.
The playground is one of the most important aspects of a child's youth. Play is incredibly important to the development of children’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical development, as well as creativity and imagination. Play is essential to brain development and the development of certain reasoning abilities. Additionally, a lack of free, spontaneous play can even be harmful to a developing child.
Simply put: Kids that play together, grow together!
WHAT WE'VE DONE (SO FAR)....
Most of our Playground Committee members are 1st and 3rd Grade parents. We will be here at Carver for a few more years, and are committed to completing this project. We will build a playground all our kids can enjoy - now, and for generations to follow.
What we’ve done (so far):
- Applied for grants from several organizations
- Partnered and work closely with LBUSD Board & staff members
- Formed relationships with local & state politicians
- Met with playground structure manufacturer reps
- Designed an inclusive and accessible playground structure
- Wine Tasting Fundraisers
- Two Casino Nights (Parents’ Night Out)
- Auctions & Raffles
- Produced a promotional video to increase our social media presence
- Pathway to Play (an engraved bricks fundraiser)
BUT WE CAN'T DO IT ALONE...
Please consider helping in the following ways:
- Buy a Brick in our Pathway to Play Fundraiser (individual or business) CLICK HERE
- Volunteer on Prep Day and/or Build Day (fill out email form here)
- Donate Food & Equipment for Prep Day and/or Build Day
- Donate Financially - any amount helps! Your donation is tax deductible (donate here)
If you want to learn of other ways you can help, please contact us
Frequently Asked Questions...
The following are questions from those interested in our playground project
Q: Can I bring my children to play on the new playground, even if we don't attend Carver?
A: YES! Our playground was designed with the community in mind. Our community helped to fund and build the new inclusive playground, so they get to play on it, too!
HOURS: You can play on the structure all summer long, during daylight hours. Once school starts, you can play on weekends, or after 4pm on school days. The back gate should be unlocked during these times. If not, come in from the side or front of the school.
Please respect our neighbors, and please keep our play space clean. No bikes or skateboards/scooters on the play structures. Please report any illegal activity by calling 911.
Q: Who is on the Playground Committee, what do they do, and who can be on the Committee?
A: The 14 current Committee member had been disbanded, having served it's purpose. The Friends of Carver are responsible for the remaining funding. The Committee was formed in the 2015-2016 school year, and was open to anyone who raised their hand and jumped in. We were tasked with: Discussing the feasibility of an accessible playground; discussing a total amount we would spend; coming up with and executing fundraising ideas and events; choosing a provider and initial design of the structure.
Additional responsibilities were soon realized: Meeting or speaking with several District officials (Supt. Steinhauser, School Board, Maintenance, Media, Legal, etc); meeting and/or facilitating tours for several local and state politicians; researching construction; researching brick fundraising & installation; working with 3rd party vendors; website creation: Facebook; film writing and production; grant writing; attending miscellaneous meetings and webinars; finding new sponsors and more.
Most of the work of the Committee is done. We are not seeking to expand the committee at this time, but there several ways you can help....
Q: How can I help?
A: We have several opportunities to help! Elsewhere on this website you can buy a brick or sign up to help build the structure. We realize several thousand dollars in savings by gathering the 100+ volunteers needed over 2 build days. Watch for other playground specific fundraisers like Game Changer Casino Night/Parent's Night Out and a fun wine tasting event.
Q: What is the timeline for the new playground structure to be build?
A: Our goal is to build during the 2016-2017 school year, as soon as the fundraising is completed.
Q: Has the playground already been designed, and where will it go?
A: Yes, the design phase had been completed. The play structure will be placed behind the Cougar Cafe, in the open space between the accessible basketball court and the staff parking lot. This is an area where both sides of the school (separated by grades) can access the structure. This location also maintains proper emergency access to all areas of the school.
Q: Will the construction noise disrupt the classrooms?
A: No. All major work on the playground is scheduled to take place during Spring Break and following weekends.
Q: I bought a brick in the Pathway to Play fundraiser. When will it be installed?
A: We are very close to meeting our Round 1 brick sales goal. We expect to order and install the bricks in the 1st half of the current school year. Please take a moment to buy your brick if you have not done so already. Purchase yours at www.CarverPlayground.com
Q: Will the construction of the Pathway to Play in the main hallway disrupt the school?
A: No. It will be constructed during non-school hours.
Q: How much has been raised so far?
A: (Updated 3/1/11): $130,000. We still have $30,000 to raise.
This is a combination of direct donations, matching donations, grants, Game Changer Casino Night and brick sales. While we are counting on school family support, the majority of donations will come from outside the school.
Q: Can we just build the playground now with what we have/Can the project be scaled back to cut costs?
A: No. Almost every dollar solicited and donated is for a $160,000 project. Some donations, such as the $40,000 from the LBUSD, were calculated based on the size and scope of the project. We've collected funds from Carver families and staff, LBUSD, businesses, grants and others, with the provision of building a $160,000 project.
Once we committed to this project in 2016, we raised about $75,000 in less than 4 months. We'll get there. We've waited 20 years to build this, and we'll do it very soon.
Another reason not to make these changes, is the number of approvals already in place. To change the cost and/or aspect of the project would require time-consuming re-approvals, as well as refunding and re-funding almost the entire project.
Q: Can we add on to the playground later?
A: Yes. We can add on to the playground in the future. After the currently proposed/planned structure is installed, anyone can step up and take the actions required to plan, fundraise, purchase and install an addition to the new playground.
Q: Are detailed income/expense statements available for the Association?
A: Yes. The PTA Treasurer has all up-to-date records.
Q: What percentage of students that will need an accessible playground at the start of 2016-2017 school year?
A: The playground will be available to 100% of our students, as well as the community (after school hours, weekends & summer). While the percentage of our children with disabilities changes from year to year, there are no plans to exclude children with disabilities from our campus - either during the school day, or after school and on weekends.
Further, you should not make something less accessible to any individual. Until we get word that not one single child will need accessibility for the next few decades, we are moving forward with currently approved plans. Plus, it's the right thing to do.
Q: Who has approved the project?
A: For varying aspects of this project, we have approvals from:
-Caver Playground Committee
-Carver PTA Board of Directors
-Carver's former & current principals
-LBUSD School Board
-LBUSD Superintendent Chris Steinhauser
Q: This is also proposed to be a "community playground". Does LBUSD agree on the community use aspect?
A: Yes. Caver playground is available to the public during non-school hours, and we are excited to be building a structure that ALL kids (and adults!) can play on, regardless of physical ability.
LBUSD encourages community use of its facilities. Access to the community is actually mandated by the LBUSD. In a recent published report, the LBUSD states:
“Best practices” suggest that facilities should serve not only as an instructional centers for students, but also as user-friendly centers of the communities. Facilities should provide programs and access to resources for adults, businesses, and other community organizations. Community/school partnerships are playing an increasing role in elementary school facilities. These partnerships provide students with expanded learning opportunities, professional development opportunities for staff, and a venue for community activities.
Q: Is Carver on the list to have a closed campus?
A: No. There are no plans to enclose our school in fencing/gates.
If Carver were to become "closed" in the future, access to the playground will be realized by keeping designated playground entrances unlocked during non-school hours.
Q: Is a sunshade included in the cost?
A: No. But there are large roofs incorporated into the structure that will provide plenty of shade.
There is a grant available to help with more shade on our playground. It requires that a "sun team" be in place for one year at the school. This team would educate the school's staff & students about staying protected from the sun. So far, no one has volunteered to help lead this team. Please contact Jon Schultz if interested in participating.
Q: Who can I contact directly with my questions about the playground project?
A: Please contact Jon Schultz. He is the lead on the project and can answer most any question you have about the project. email: firstname.lastname@example.org; mobile: 562 843 2927
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