Lockport church secures national grant to build new playground

Nov 27, 2017

A church in Lockport is the recipient of a national grant to build a new playground.  As WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley tells us the Grace Episcopal Church is also planning to open a new early childhood education and day school next fall.

KaBOOM! Building the 3,000th playground in the U.S.
Credit Photo from KaBoom! webpage.

"We did get a grant from KaBOOM! And we're excited about that grant. It's done through a partnership with Dr Pepper Snapple Group,” said Rev. Samuel Colley-Toothaker, Rector, Grace Episcopal Church in Lockport. 

The church was awarded a $15,000 a 'Let's Play Community Construction' grant.  A playground will be built on the campus of the future Grace Episcopal Day School. This nation grant helps underserved communities.

Rev. Samuel Colley-Toothaker, Rector, Grace Episcopal Church in Lockport, discusses grant for playground.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

“We live in an underserved neighborhood as far as outdoors, green space for kids to play in – it’s just not here and these playgrounds are incredibly expensive to build, and since we are developing the school here we decided that we want to put a playground in and we applied for this grant and there were 15 organizations nationwide that did receive the grant, and so we’re excited. We’re in the process of developing all the things that are going to go in that will not only benefit our school, but the immediate neighborhood surrounding us,” explained Rev. Colley-Toothaker.  

Next fall the new school is set to open for students in K-through eight.  The curriculum that is set to focus on a holistic approach to learning. It will include outdoor physical activity for the whole child.

“This playground, once it’s installed, will be certainly something that we use here at Grace as part of the school that will be opening. It’s one more place that they can go to and they can get exercise, they can get out in the fresh air and they can engage in what children should be engaging in – which is good, healthy play,” remarked Colley-Toothaker.

Once the playground is completed it will provide for school kids and neighborhood children a safe place to enjoy outdoor playing.  The new early childhood and day school is set to open in September of 2018.