On October 20, 2015, nearly 300 elementary students were given something many kids take for granted – a school playground. United Way of Greater Cleveland partnered with the Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, First Energy and Republic Services to build a playground for the annual Hometown Huddle project.
The project took place at CMSD’s Dike School of the Arts. Over 200 volunteers, including United Way of Greater Cleveland and Cleveland Browns staff, 20 Browns players, as well as Team NFL/United Way spokesperson Craig Robertson, transformed the blank canvas of Dike School of the Arts into a beautiful courtyard. The transformed canvas includes a brand new playground unit that is complete with slides, ADA-friendly transfer stations with step and handholds, cargo net climbers, and rock wall. Other elements include a designated Pre-K zone, colorful murals, beautiful mosaic benches, garden boxes, and more.
The school is located in a Central Cleveland neighborhood that is poverty stricken, and home to many legendry authors, entrepreneurs and government influencers. The school serves nearly 300 students in pre-K through sixth grade, and has never had a play area for recess.
“Thank you all for volunteering to help build this beautiful playground. The students, teachers and staff members here at Dike greatly appreciate this,” said Principal Alisha Evans.
United Way of Greater Cleveland‘s President and CEO Bill Kitson, Cleveland City Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland, Cleveland Browns General Manager Ray Farmer, and Cleveland Indians Chairman and CEO and United Way of Greater Cleveland Campaign Co-Chair Paul Dolan, thanked all the volunteers for their time, during the opening and closing program.
The project would not have been possible without the help of our many additional supporters. Thank you to First Energy, Republic Services, Petitti’s, Giant Eagle, Dave’s Supermarkets and Papa John’s for your support and donations.