Sue Achille, principal of Perkins Elementary School, is urging anyone ages 18 and older in Newark and elsewhere to vote online to help the pre-kindergarten through second-grade school win $100,000 in new playground equipment.
Perkins School was selected as one of five finalists among hundreds of schools across the nation to apply for a grant from Culturelle Kids for Project Playground. The finalist that receives the most online votes will win the grant.
As of March 8, North Vernon Elementary in North Vernon, Indiana, received 26,208 votes; New Haven Elementary in Columbia, Missouri, received 22,912 votes; Perkins School received 11,296 votes; Waupaca Learning Center in Waupaca, Wisconsin, received 6,880 votes; and Abraham Wing School in Glens Falls received 4,686 votes.
Anyone ages 18 and older can visit to cast a vote each day. It’s simple to vote after the first time, requiring only a few seconds to go online daily until the competition closes on March 15.
Images of the five school finalists are on the webpage. To cast a vote, click on Perkins Elementary School. Each vote can qualify the voter to become eligible to win a $100 Target gift card or other prizes.
Achille said if everyone in Newark Central School District’s 500-person staff and members of the Newark community, 18 or older, voted every day until March 15, Perkins could win.
“After you first vote, it only takes a few seconds each time to visit the website and cast a vote each day,’’ Achille said. “It’s such a little thing to do, but it could win us the $100,000 that would be used to expand our playground equipment, which is not only used by our school, but lots of other children in our community who use it when our school is closed.”
Perkins’ second playground on the northeast side of the school was condemned last fall after its aging equipment had fallen into an irreparable state of disrepair.
The capacity of the newer playground, which is directly behind the parking lot west of the building, only allows one of the school’s 25 classes to use it at a time. That means, in good weather, only a few classes each day get to use it during their daily 20-minute recess time.
Achille said teachers take turns using the playground with their classes. If the school wins the Project Playground competition, the new equipment will be installed in the old playground area on the northeast side of the school.
Project Playground voting started on Feb. 15. All five Newark schools asked their staff to vote each day. Achille reached out to other area superintendents, as well as Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES, to ask their staff members to vote.
She reminded everyone to take advantage “of this great opportunity” for Perkins School to win money to purchase additional playground equipment.
“We don’t get offered this opportunity everyday,’’ she said. “We can’t stop until we win. This is doable. People just need to ask everyone they know, who is 18 or over, to vote. We’re doing this so children in our community can have more playground equipment to play on for years to come.”