NEIGHBORHOOD CAPITAL PROJECTS: BETHUNE SCHOOLYARD
Deepening its commitment to the children and families of the neighborhood, North10 is working with key partners to create a safe and community-focused space at Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School, open to all community residents. Through a collaboration with The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national nonprofit organization, the schoolyard will be transformed into a community park with and for our neighbors. Based on TPL’s 10-Minute Walk Impact Report, 9,402 residents live within half a mile of the proposed schoolyard site, with 30% – nearly 3,000 – being children under the age of 20.
As part of the participatory design process, Bethune teachers and students will have a unique hands-on role in envisioning their future schoolyard. Studies have shown that students are more active on a regular basis in schoolyards with play structures and grassy areas, and that access to play space helps prevent childhood obesity, reduces stress and improves focus. Notably, there is a disparity in access to these types of spaces specifically for communities of color. North10 and TPL are taking an important step to combat this injustice, by providing all children the right to be children through the opportunity of outdoor play.
The School District of Philadelphia has pledged its support by investing $300,000 into the project and we have raised $225,000 in private support. Fundraising continues to reach our goal of the $1.1 million needed to complete this important enhancement to the neighborhood.