Claremore Daily Progress

February 20, 2014

Roosa Elementary raises funds for new playground equipment, walking track, learning pavilions

Mark Friedel
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE — Stuart Roosa Elementary administrators, teachers and parents are in the process of raising funds to add a new walking track and playground structure,  complete with learning pavilions for students.

Three years ago, a committee of parents and teachers agreed to fight childhood obesity and teach a lifelong love of living a healthy and fit lifestyle, said Roosa Elementary Principal Glen Abshere. In order to accomplish this goal, a three-tier plan was designed.

The first tier includes the addition of a new multi-level playground structure with slides. Tier 2 will include the walking track and tier three includes the addition of the learning pavilions to the playground.

Abshere said the projects are estimated to cost $150,000.

“For the last three years, we have conducted several fundraisers. To date we have collected $33,000,” he said. “Our goal for this year is to complete tier one, and we still need an additional $80,000.”

Expanding neighborhoods and student transfers into the district caused the boundary map for Roosa Elementary to expand to address the population changes. The redistricting allowed for equitable distribution of students among the schools; however, Roosa’s attendance has increased by 90 students this school year.

The playground is in dire need of an update, said Abshere. Additions will expand the current playground, allowing opportunities for more student play. The new structure will also be handicapped accessible.

Claremore Superintendent Michael McClaren said with the lack of state funding, playground equipment is something that would need to be purchased through school fundraisers.

“District funds are tight. We’re currently about $200 down per student,” said McClaren. “That’s about $900,000 less than where we were last year.”

Roosa Elementary staff is asking for the public’s help in accomplishing their goal to improve the lifestyle of their students. A live auction has been added for the upcoming fourth annual Roosa Carnival set to take place April 4.

Abshere said any individual and/or business donations are greatly appreciated. Donated items can include services, products, gift cards, gift baskets etc. Donations will need to be dropped off at Stuart Roosa Elementary by March 14.

For more information, contact the Roosa Elementary office at (918) 341-5242.