The Parent Teacher Organization of Woodruff Elementary School in Berkeley Heights is seeking the support of the community to raise "dough" for a new playground to be installed in 2012.  "Twenty five years ago, the Woodruff PTA raised the funds to install a playground that offered accessible equipment to all students.  Fast forward another 25 years, and building materials, as well as accessibility equipment have improved dramatically.  We can't think of a better way to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the school than to install a new playground with challenging equipment that builds strong bodies for today's students," said PTO President Debbie Koutsaftes.  All children playing side by side has always been the goal of the Woodruff community.
Woodruff School has a long history of celebrating the unique needs of all children. "We have a philosophy that recognizes that learning and physical challenges reflect the real world.  Fostering understanding and inclusion and teaching children to honor and respect differences makes us stronger," commented Principal Patricia Gasparani. "I was delighted the PTO decided to celebrate our 50th Anniversary with this project."
After numerous meetings with state officials and school specialists, and countless of hours of planning and discussions, the Playground Committee of Cindy Lepore, Ellyn Dally, Debbie Koutsaftes, and Dan Bernier, chose GameTime to design the final layout of the new site. "The decision to hire GameTime as the official contractor was based on their flexibility, equipment offered, price and reputation," said Ellyn Dally, "and Dan Bernier brought his expertise and incredible insight as Head of Park Planning for Union County Parks and Recreation, in developing the project." A company representative met with the students and got their "wish list" of a fantasy playground.  Using the same technology used to create Pixar movies, GameTime brought the fantasy to life in a 3D format at the end of each meeting.
Cindy Lepore explained, "Working with the Playground committee is the volunteer fundraising team of parents Michelle Harder, Jennifer Serretti, Eileen Granelli, and Andrya Wallace. The $50,000 needed for the project is being raised through fundraisers, grants, and donation requests." The first fundraiser is a Carnival from 11am to 5pm on October 15th at the school located at 55 Briarwood Drive West.  Food, games, and rides featuring a giant rock slide, rock wall, whirly bird, dunk tank, moonwalk, and more will be ready to greet families, alumni and friends.  Merchandise sporting the 50th Anniversary logo will also be on sale. A dinner dance is planned for March 2, 2012.
A poster rendition of the new playground is located in the school lobby.  The community is invited to support the project with donations sent to:  Woodruff School Playground Fund, 55 Briarwood Drive West, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922.  For more information on the Carnival and the playground project, please call the school at (908) 464-1723.