$500,000 Grant for First-Time Playgrounds at Five Schools

$500,000 Grant for First-Time Playgrounds at Five Schools

Big Shoulders Fund Northwest Indiana announced a $500,000 grant from the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation to build brand new playgrounds at five Northwest Indiana Catholic elementary schools. The grant will provide playgrounds for elementary school students at Aquinas Catholic Community School, St. Casimir School, St. John the Baptist Catholic School, St. John Bosco Catholic School and St. Stanislaus School – all Big Shoulders Fund schools within the Catholic Diocese of Gary.

“We are absolutely thrilled to receive our first-ever playground, and we are incredibly grateful for Big Shoulders Fund Northwest Indiana and the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation for this gift,” said Angelica Foy, Principal at St. Stanislaus School. “Playgrounds are essential for kids to be able to decompress and exercise their social skills with classmates, and we cannot wait for our students to have a safe and secure place outside the classroom to build critical social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills,”

The gift will provide each of the five schools with their first-ever playground. The Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Gary are committed to achieving Academic Excellence inspired by Faith in Action. The schools pride themselves on providing a high-quality, values-based education that educates the whole child, providing social, emotional, spiritual, physical, and cultural development in addition to academics to help children grow into well-rounded, productive individuals who go on to better their communities. With the brand-new playgrounds, these schools will be able to offer students high-quality playground equipment as an additional space to play and explore with peers as they grow their social skills and engage in physical activity between academic lessons.

“We are honored to partner for this transformative project that will benefit children in Northwest Indiana for years to come,” said Bill Hanna, Executive Director of the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation. “Our foundation is committed to improving the quality of life in Indiana and we are pleased to join forces with Big Shoulders Fund Northwest Indiana to enhance the school experience for students by supporting the build out of playgrounds at these five schools.”

The playgrounds will be designed, built, and installed by the certified Gary, Indiana-based playground manufacturer, Kidstuff Playsystems. The manufacturer will offer each school a variety of play system blueprints to best meet the unique needs of each school. Planning for the project is currently underway, and installations are expected to begin in spring 2023.

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