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Fountain Hill school trying to win grant to build new playground

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 27 2012 03:44:04 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 27 2012 04:31:49 PM CST

Students at Fountain Hill Elementary School in Lehigh County say all they want to do is play, but the school playground is not safe.

FOUNTAIN HILL, Pa. -

Students at Fountain Hill Elementary School in Lehigh County say all they want to do is play, but the school playground is not safe.

Now, several community members are trying to win a $50,000 grant for a new playground.

The Bethlehem School District deemed the old playground unsafe last spring, so the school now needs everyone's vote to build a new one.

In the meantime, the students hold on to fond memories of their old playground.

"We do the monkey bars. We go across the bridge and then the monkey bar that go into a tube," said Assata Allah-Shabazz, a 4th grader. "It's really fun."

"The bridge area that connects two pieces of equipment has begun to rust and rot and the screws are beginning to deteriorate," said Lisa Lynch, principal at Fountain Hill.

There are also missing screws and chipping paint on the 15-year-old structure, so the school and several community members have come together to help raise money for a new playground.

They found an excellent opportunity through the Clorox "Power a Bright Future" grant contest.

"To raise the amount of money that they need for a new playground is an incredible task for any community to do, and this grant would give them a leg up," said Samantha Kleinrock, community coordinator at AmeriCorps Vista. "It's $50,000 if you win first place."

The group has a YouTube video asking for votes. There are still 22 days to vote and get Fountain Hill to the top spot.

You can vote twice a day via text, online or email, and some students are really counting on it.

"I say, 'Can you please, because we don't have a playground, and we're not having really much fun?" said Allah-Shabazz.

Volunteers have been placing door hangers around the community, trying to get more votes.

The school started in 79th place; it's now in the top 10.