Holmes School Gets $120,000 for New Playground

By at June 8, 2017 | 2:00 pm | Print

holmes-playground

It was a bit rainy and dark on Tuesday, but Holmes School students had much reason to see a bright future.

With the entire school gathered in the gymnasium, Mayor Erin E. Stewart gave a check for $120,000 to Holmes School for a new playground.

“I’m here to make your day a little bit brighter,” Mayor Stewart told the excited children. “A playground cost over $100,000. The Student Council came to me a year ago and they made the first ask for a playground.”

Student Council members who met with the Mayor were Molly Alape, Julissa Santiago, Alina Le and Nina Xayavong. Student Council Officers 2016-2017 who worked on the project include Dominick Benaquisto, Natalia Olszewska, Milena Budny and Celine Chreiha. Other students stood behind Stewart and each held up a letter that spelled out “Holmes Playground.”

“They put together this amazing power point presentation. In the presentation they had pictures. They cited ADA laws about why we have to create a safe playscape for them,” Stewart told the City Journal. “They did their homework. They were so heartfelt and passionate about it. For me to be able to do this provides a teachable moment for them. A lesson learned that you do your homework, research and provide facts to the people that are able to make decisions and you might be really surprised at what they are able to do.” Stewart said because of the presentation and the help of a lot of people including Ken Malinowski (Acting Director of the Department of Municipal Development) she had a really big check to give to the school.

The money comes from the Community Development Block Grant Program, which is funding the city receives from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“Sometimes we get bogged down with allocating that money in other ways that we lose sight of the fact that if we can make a smaller investment that makes a huge impact on the lives of our kids,” added Stewart. “It is an amazing feeling. To see the smiles on their face in such a gloomy day will brighten anybody up.”

“The most important part that you need to know is that you matter. Your voice matters,” said Superintendent of Schools Nancy Sarra to students. “When you really work for something hard we know there is a place to go to ask for help. We have a government and Mayor in the City of New Britain who cares about every single one of us. Not only at Holmes, but all across New Britain. When we work together good things happen.”

The school had done various things to help raise money for the playground including a talent show that raised $7,000.

Holmes School is located at 2150 Stanley St.

.News Feature

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