James John K-2 Playground

$16,321 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 209 people in 5 months
Created April 30, 2018
James John PTA
                                                                                 KIDS  PLAY  HERE

                                                                                100 kids per recess
                                                                                    2-3 times a day
                                                                                   180 days a year

 James John K-2 playground today

What happened.

In Spring 2017, most of the playground equipment on the James John K-2 playground was deemed unsafe and no longer fixable. The school district removed the broken play structures, which is good, but put nothing in their place, which is sad.

A year later, the situation remains the same: three old-fashioned structures float aimlessly in a vast sea of wet wood chips, dirt and debris. 

Kids are turned off.  Teachers see problems.  Everybody loses.

The problem is systemic.

Portland Public Schools is not funding playgrounds at this time. It is unclear when that will change. Given this, the PPS Facility Department has no choice but to "remove but not replace" broken playground equipment -- like ours.

With no budget allocations, the responsibility for funding such improvements is left up to each school and its supporters. Schools from affluent communities generally fair best in this scenario.

James John is a Title 1A school with a $40,382 annual operating budget. 94% of its population is Economically Underprivileged; 29% of students are English Language Learners; and 25% are considered Mobile students. 14 languages are spoken on our campus.

 29532498_15264094090_r.jpegPoor drainage leads to mud when it rains

A bygone era.

The James John K-2 playground is old-fashioned. It requires preparation before the installation of new playground equipment and surfacing. This means the removal of old materials and soil, followed by the addition of a simple drainage system. Old concrete also needs replacement, and we must add ADA ramps into the play zone, in order to meet accessibility standards.

29532498_15264094930_r.jpeg Not ADA-friendly: crumbling concrete and poorly-maintained surfacing

We've got a plan  (hint: it involves you)

We will raise the money needed to do this thing, one playground hero at a time. 

And that's where you come in   --  you, and your network, and your passionate extension of yourself on our behalf.  The James John community is working double-time to make this dream a reality. 

And that dream is simply: for kids from a poor school to have a nice place to play

But the dream has also grown. It has blossomed into the need to show the children of James John that sometimes we have to get ingenious to get what we need. We have to work differently, band together, and bring all our resources to bear.  And there is honor and solidarity in doing so.  Join us.

29532498_15264097030_r.jpegJames John's K-2 playground of the future:
Fun new equipment, new surfacing, and a welcoming spot to sit

Reality bites.

Playgrounds are expensive. We wish they weren't, but they are. The cost for a modest new playground  for James John is approximately $55,000. These funds will cover the preparation of the site and the purchase and installation of new equipment and Engineered Wood Fiber surfacing.

Creating a safe, truly accessible  space for all children to use, despite ability, is important to the James John community,... but sadly, it is a costly portion of this project.  Therefore, depending on the success of our fund raising, we will either add the [most affordable] Engineered Wood Fiber surfacing or the [highest-grade] ADA-accessible rubber surfacing.  It is our hope that we can "go the distance", and get the ADA surfacing.  But realistically, it just may not be possible, as it doubles the cost of this project.  Still, despite these financial challenges, Equity and Access remain core aspects of James John's identity and teachings. 

We proudly promote awareness and appreciation for all individual differences and we embrace every diversity.

And we mean it.  Play is for everyone, at every age, and every level of ability.

Join us.

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As we approach the June 30th deadline for this fundraising campaign, all we can say is THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

Thanks to you, we reached our crowdfunding goal of $20,000 in just two months, weeks ahead of our deadline. That is incredible, odds-defying success, and it should make you very proud indeed. Each time you shared, commented, donated or spoke to a friend about our campaign, you supported us. You are more powerful than you realize.

This $20,000 will provide the resources necessary for the James John K-2 playground to be installed professionally and safely, with sufficient care given to drainage, improved accessibility, ADA ramps, and comfortable seating nearby.

Thank you, Playground Heroes.

And an extra special Thank You to Kelli Martinelli of Mamore Consulting for support and guidance on this social media campaign. https://www.facebook.com/mamorelove/

All future inquiries into this project should be directed to the James John PTA at jamesjohnparents@gmail.com or you may phone the school at 503.916.6266
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Oh MY WORD! We just had a $2,511 donation from Common Place PDX. That put's us at $15,000 on the ticker, and at $20,000 overall. DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?!

pinch me.
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Thanks to The Portland Observer for showing interest in our story and for helping us reach people who care.

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A happy update: We have received the check from our Anonymous Donor. THANK YOU, Anonymous! Your generosity stirred up a storm of giving, creating great momentum with your Matching Gift Challenge.

Although GoFundMe does not allow us to add this $5,000 figure to our running total, know that this puts us at $17,439 right now. We are less than $3,000 away from our Goal!
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Read a Previous Update

$16,321 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 209 people in 5 months
Created April 30, 2018
James John PTA
Funds raised will benefit:
PTA Oregon Congress (James John Pta)
  Certified Charity
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Portland, OR
EIN: 943039323
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* If, after reasonable efforts, PayPal Giving Fund cannot deliver donations to this charity, the funds may be donated to another charity per PayPal Giving Fund’s policies.
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