Community comes together to create school playground
Four years after Puu Kukui Elementary School opened its doors, its students finally have a playground to play on. Over one year ago, the school’s Parent, Teacher, Student Association began to raise funds to help the school install a playground structure.
Students and families of the school helped raise money by participating in the PTSA’s Fun Run Fundraiser and Spring Fling event. In addition, the PTSA received donations from the following local businesses and donors: Zilber Foundation, Expedia, God’s House, Spencer Homes, Towne Realty, Dorvin Leis, Vares Construction, TJ Gomes Trucking Co., Alexander & Baldwin, Maui Lani Association and Ohana Fun
“The amount of support that we received from our school ohana and the community was amazing,” said PTSA Assistant Treasurer Roberta Means. “We were blown away by everyone’s generosity.”
The PTSA raised over $60,000 to match the state Department of Education’s contribution toward the school’s playground.
In addition, Vares Contracting and TJ Gomes Trucking Co. donated their services to prepare the playground site for installation.
“It really felt like the whole community came together to bring a playground to our students,” said Means. “And the students were excited to see their efforts to raise money come to fruition.”
After raising the necessary funds, the PTSA’s Playground Committee let the Student Lighthouse Team (the school’s student government) pick the playground pieces to be purchased and installed.
“We wanted our students to have a voice in the decision process,” says Lisa Vares, the committee chair. “After all, they’re the ones playing on it.”
“It took us over a year,” Means says. “But we reached our goal and we are very grateful for the support we received.”