The Ellen Hopkins Parent Teacher Advisory Council (PTAC) is a collaboration of parents, teachers, and staff who are committed to supporting the education and development of our students. Some examples of how we strive to accomplish this include coordinating fun and educational opportunities and purchasing materials to support education and enhance the school environment. One of the ways we would like to improve our school’s environment for our students is by expanding the small playground at Ellen Hopkins and adding ADA accessible equipment. After years of fundraising, we are approaching 91% of our goal, but we will need help from our community in order to purchase the equipment in time for a scheduled construction project at the school grounds this summer.
The current Ellen Hopkins playground system was installed in 2004 and has a commercial life of 10-15 years if maintained properly. The system consists of a composite play system with walkways and 7 events in a 40×60 space with a capacity for 65-70 children. There are 8 swings and two panels on the system for a total of 12 children. The estimated capacity of the total unit is 77-82 children. Currently, Ellen Hopkins has more than 840 students enrolled in our K-5 school. At one time, there are more than 125 children on the equipment during recess. Faculty have commented that there is simply not enough equipment for children to safely play, which leads to negative behaviors such as rough housing and bullying. A more serious concern is that the Ellen Hopkins playground system is not accessible for the many students at Ellen Hopkins who have disabilities.
The Ellen Hopkins PTAC is seeking community partners to help facilitate a Playground Expansion Project (PEP) for the good of all of the students, faculty, aides, and community members. The proposed project will cost $61,000 and include adding additional swings (including two handicap accessible swings with rubber solid surfacing and access points for wheelchairs and aides), 3 accessible panel plays (i.e. xylophone), an accessible 3 deck play system, and a climbing net.
Thus far, we have $25,000 from PTAC and $30,000 from Moorhead Public Schools committed for PEP. Our remaining balance is $6,000. While there are two public parks (South Park and Lamb Park)
within the Ellen Hopkins community, there are none that have ADA accessible equipment. By adding ADA equipment to the Ellen Hopkins playground, we will be able to provide more opportunity for stimulating play to our children within the school and the community who have disabilities.
We hope that you will consider supporting our Playground Expansion Project (PEP) by making a monetary donation advancing the school environment for the children at Ellen Hopkins Elementary School.