When vandals destroyed the playground at Foster Elementary School last June, the students decided to take it into their own hands to raise funds to rebuild.
Between manning lemonade and fresh baked goods stands, selling their own stuffed animals, holding car washes and several other fundraising events, the students raised a good portion of the money to donate to the playground.
Randall Reed Planet Ford of Humble stepped forward to donate a $25,000 check to the rebuilding effort, and with the help of the Be An Angel Foundation, all of the kids’ dreams became a reality.
Foster Elementary celebrated the grand reopening of its new playground May 19 with representatives from Planet Ford in Humble, the Be An Angel Foundation, members of Foster’s Parent-Teacher Association and other community members.
“We are very excited and very humbled by how many people in our community helped us rebuild the playground. We are even more proud as parents how hard the students at Foster worked to raise money so they could have a playground again,” Sarah Stevens, Foster PTA member and Playground Committee chair, said at the ceremony.
“They did not wait for someone else to come along and rebuild their playground; they had the initiative to work hard for their community and school.”
During the planning process for the new playground at Foster, the Be An Angel Foundation approached the school and inquired about installing equipment that all students could use including students who have physical disabilities.
The school and the district agreed a playground for all children was beneficial, so the new playground at Foster Elementary is one of the only all-inclusive, barrier-free playgrounds in Humble ISD. The only other all-inclusive playground in the area is at Lindsay/Lyons Park in Humble.
“It truly is amazing when you get the chance to see a child who is in a wheelchair get to use the playground equipment; their face lights up with delight – it is amazing. This playground is representative of what an entire community can do,” Bill Shank, chairman of the Be An Angel Foundation, said.
Before the ribbon cutting ceremony, Randall Reed of Planet Ford spent time with Foster Elementary students and even enjoyed a ride down one of the slides.
The playground was a community build for Planet Ford so employees, Randall Reed and community members constructed the playground as a team and under the supervision of the playground company. Every year Reed selects a community project and since the fire-damaged playground affected the whole community, he selected this as his pet project.
“My wife, Sherry, and I have a passion for children and supporting a community that has always supported us. This is our chance to give back and we knew this was the right thing to do,” Reed said.