PATERSON, NJ - There's no doubt that the yard outside outside School 7 on Ramsey Street lacks amenities. The old-fashioned half-moon backboard on the basketball court is badly faded and its rim is tilted. The pavement on the school yard is uneven. The kids say there's not much to do out there. They would like to get a playground.

So the School 7 community submitted an application with the retailer Big Lots for one of the $120,000 in grants being distributed to schools around the country. School 7 was picked as one of more than 175 finalists.

The top prize is $20,000, with two schools getting $10,000, four getting $5,000 and 30 getting $2,000.

The winners will be determined by online voting that started last week and will run through July 8. Folks are allowed to vote three times.