Foothills Elementary School students now have shade shelters at their playgrounds, thanks in part to donations of time and energy from parents and community partners.
Thanks to approximately 20 employees of Alcoa, Inc., faculty and parents of Foothills Elementary and other members of the community, each playground at Foothills Elementary School has two shade shelters and landscaping to enhance the area.
“This has been a community effort,” said Melissa Conner, Foothills Elementary family and teacher organization president.
The project to provide playground shade shelters for the faculty and students to enjoy resulted from a brainstorming session at a FTO meeting. The project was initiated and spearheaded by Myra Hair, Alcoa, Inc., employee and mother of Foothills Elementary kindergartner. According to Hair, she decided to take on the task because it had been an item on teachers’ wish lists for years. She said the FTO’s budget provided for a lot of technological needs, and she knew she could make the shade shelters a reality.
“Myra really stepped up,” Conner said. Hair said she could not take the credit and that it took a lot of volunteers to see the project through.
According to Hair, Mike Garland designed the shelters that provide shade for the benches on the playground. She said Randy Lamon from Lamon and McDaniel Builders, Inc., dug the holes for the shelters and also helped with grading the construction area. Stowers Machinery Corporation donated the use of the equipment to install the shade shelters.
The FTO brought and served lunch for the volunteers and Home Depot provided mulch and potting soil for the ornamental grass, decorative flowers and the five Yoshino cherry trees which are representative of each grade level at the school.
Hair said that the planting of the trees also correspond with Alcoa’s environmental initiative to plant one million trees worldwide. She said the shade
project will also allow her to apply to Alcoa for an action grant in the amount of $3,000 to help the school with future endeavors.
“You have an opportunity with respect to your child’s education,” Hair said. She said by completing a project that receives grant funding will provide some necessary items that will benefit the school and enhance the children’s learning capabilities.
“The teachers are really thrilled,” said Foothills Elementary vice-principal, Tammy Hooper. “Since the playgrounds are in wide open areas and the faculty are outside for 30 minutes at a time to monitor the children, the shade shelters are really appreciated.”