Schoolyard makeover

Parents help raise over $100K to help reconstruct playground


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L–R: Shannon Phillips and Gillian Uy

Gillian Uy and Shannon Phillips, parent volunteers at Allenby Junior Public School, were just two of many who were tired of seeing their kids play in a giant mud pit before and after school. So they took it upon themselves to come up with a solution and help revamp the schoolyard.

After only four months of fundraising, the parent body was able to round up over $100,000 to put toward a new playground with basketball hoops, lines for four square and hopscotch and other fun features, alongside funding from the Toronto District School Board to take care of the turf and the terrible mud problem. 

The parents orchestrated a dance-a-thon called Dance Hard for Our Schoolyard, as well as a big culminating soiree, where they held live and silent auctions, as well as a charity casino, in support of the schoolyard.

“It’s a testament to how much people love the school and their community just how quickly this money was achieved, and in such a short period of time,” said Uy.

“The community wanted to show how much they love the school, because you look at that field right now, and you know, it needs a lot of love.”

With two little ones of her own, a nine- and a seven-year-old, Uy said her children are excited about the prospect of having a new and improved schoolyard to play on — one that isn’t dusty or muddy.

But this hasn’t been a one-person operation. Uy is part of the fifth committee that has come along and been a part of this particular undertaking. 

“There have been committees upon committees, and all of a sudden, pieces started falling into place. But it’s been a community effort. If it hadn’t been for a lot of legwork from past parents and past committees, we might not have been as far as we are,” she said.

“And now finally we’re going to be getting the schoolyard we’ve been dreaming of, long before my kids even started at the school,” said Uy.

Construction is slated to commence in July or August of 2015, with a shiny new schoolyard geared up and ready to go at the start of the school year.

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