In 1999, a playground was lovingly installed at Barrington’s Arnett C. Lines Elementary School. As the world turned and the country changed, the playground remained a constant for countless students looking to get away from the stresses of school to enjoy come carefree hours on the swings and the slides.
But now, 20 years later, that same playground is due for a makeover. And the students themselves are going to make sure that happens.
“The kids started slowly with a lemonade stand and a movie night with friends—literally donating money from their piggy banks,” recalls Sarah Collins, Lines PTO vice president of fundraising regarding the student’s efforts to raise money for a new playground as part of the Powered by Play “Fun”-Raising initiative. “The next thing we knew there were more lemonade stands popping up on weekends. Kids were using their own money to purchase ingredients for bake sales. The kids are so excited, and now so invested, in this new playground. It has been a really, really special time
at our school.”
And while the Barrington 220 Board of Education and the Lines PTO are now working together with students and staff to fund a new playground, the fact is that such endeavors are surprisingly expensive. From engineering to surfacing to the installation to the actual equipment, nearly $430,000 is needed to replace the playground. The PTO is responsible for raising $130,000 of this.
But right now, thanks to the efforts of many, that number is in reach.
“The new Lines playground will provide exciting opportunities for our students to develop in a variety of areas,” adds Mr. Kevin Kienzle, Lines physical education teacher. “Play structures enhance students motor skills, muscular strength, coordination, and provide opportunities for social development. Movement is fun and a new play structure would create excitement and a love of movement. This love of movement is the foundation that students need in order to live a healthy active lifestyle now and in the future.”
Yet, there is still more work to be done and money to be raised.
The playground fund is set to receive one final push in the form of the Lines Elementary School 50th Anniversary Gala on February 7. The “Cheers to 50 Years” fundraising gala will not only celebrate the vibrant 50 years of Lines, but also help fund the playground project to benefit current and future Lines students.
“Our vision was to have a 50th anniversary party that would celebrate and honor all of the success Lines Elementary School has had during its first 50 years,” explains Michele Reesh, Lines PTO gala committee co-chair. “We’re hoping to welcome current Lines family and staff, as well as Lines alumni, former and current Barrington 220 staff, and members of our community to the gala. Lines would not be the school it is today without the dedicated staff, students, and families over the past 50 years.”
And yes, this push for a new playground is personal for many.
“My youngest son is a kindergartener so we will be at Lines for quite some time,” explains Madeliene Roberts, Lines PTO president. “Knowing he will have a positive and fun playground experience is amazing. Being able to help leave behind such a positive thing for my children and generations to come is what life is all about.”
The “Cheers to 50 Years” fundraising gala will take place from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. on Friday, February 7 at Concorde Banquets in Kildeer. The ticket cost is $125 per person, which includes hors d’oeuvres, a sit down dinner with open bar, and live entertainment from cover band Modern Day Romeos. The evening will also include silent and live auctions and a video montage of the past 50 years of Lines Elementary School.
“Our featured silent and live auction items include a Javier Baez signed baseball, a private in-home wine tasting, a ladies’ golf clinic, and a stay at Kohler resort in Wisconsin,” remarks Jen Lagoni, Lines PTO fundraising co-chair. “In addition, we are excited to offer several fantastic door raffles, a wine pull, and silent and live auction items. The men’s raffle will include a grill and meat package, and the ladies can look forward to a fabulous raffle featuring a horseshoe-shaped diamond necklace. We are grateful for the generosity of our staff, parents, and community members who have donated fantastic items and experiences.”
For more information about the Lines Playground project, please visit linesplayground.com.