Sprague School wins grant for playground
The kindergarteners of Sprague Elementary School play on their monkey bars. Their playground will receive renovation work this summer, funded in part by a grant from the Toro Co. (Ronnie Wachter~Sun-Times Media)
Updated: March 11, 2013 2:19AM
Lincolnshire — Laura B. Sprague Elementary School will have a renovated landscape and playground this fall, in part because of the efforts of online voters. The Sprague community lifted their school’s grant request to the top of a list of four being considered by garden-machine manufacturer Toro Co.
Voters won for the Lincolnshire elementary a $7,000 grant, the top prize in Toro’s “Green Spaces Make Great Places” online video contest.
Scott Warren, superintendent of Lincolnshire-Prairie View Elementary District 103, said the award will help fund the repair and replacement of the playground’s retaining wall, drainage and landscaping, while bringing it into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Toro grant will add to the work already being done at the playground to replace 25-year-old wooden playground pieces.
Sprague was one of multiple non-profit organizations to apply for the grant in October; a panel of Toro employees selected four finalists, and instructed each to film a short video explaining their request. Toro posted those videos on YouTube and let viewers vote for which they liked the most.
Of nearly 50,000 votes collected, the viewers like Sprague’s video the most. Sprague beat requests from the Treet Trust, an arbor group in Minnesota; Project EverGreen, a renovation program in Cleveland; and VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads, a Virginia organization that involves youths in environmental projects.