Parents of students attending Charlottesville City Schools would like to support our community in building a playground for Walker Upper Elementary School! If you are interested in getting involved, including providing feedback, please sign up to receive updates by emailing email@example.com. If you would like to financially support the project, you can make a donation here.
Currently, Walker does not have a playground. Instead, it has a basketball court, a four square section of the court, and a soccer field (which is often unusable due to wear and tear from weekend soccer games). This is problematic, as it limits the options students have for critically important physical movement during the day. In a 2018 study by Oregon State University, researchers found that one of the contributors to quality recess experiences for students was “plenty of choices of play equipment and games.”
During a school project that engaged all sixth-graders at Walker in fall 2018, students identified a playground as one of the top things they wanted for their school.
The lack of a Walker playground is particularly unfortunate because it is at this upper elementary divide that economic and racial disparities in Charlottesville City Schools (CCS) become even more pronounced, per public data. Walker has the highest percentage of economically disadvantaged students of any CCS school, and its percentage of students of color is higher than the citywide average, as well. We want for all students to have access to adequate spaces to play.
In addition to Walker students and parents, numerous other community members and organizations support A Playground for Walker, including:
- Walker principal Dr. Adam Hastings
- Walker Buford United PTO
- American Institute of Architects Central Virginia Emerging Professionals
- Timmons Group
- Building Goodness Foundation
- Bama Works Fund
- Charlottesville Area Community Foundation
- UVA Health System
- Anonymous individual donors
We are also working very closely with the Charlottesville Parks & Recreation Department. Click here to read their statement of support for A Playground for Walker. In unanimous votes, the Charlottesville City School Board and Charlottesville City Council have approved permission for the playground to be built.
We are looking to community stakeholders, including students, for information on the best play materials to serve student need. We are working with local design thinkers to create opportunities for community feedback. While we had planned on hosting feedback sessions in March, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our timeline. We are currently working on how we can collect feedback virtually, allowing us to stay safe while still engaging community feedback! As the virtual opportunities are determined, they will be posted here and on our social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).
Thank you for taking time to learn more about A Playground for Walker!
Read local press coverage of A Playground for Walker, including an endorsement by the Daily Progress:
- The Walker playground project is almost underway. Here’s what you need to know.
- Playground project at Walker moves forward
- Charlottesville woman aims to bring playground to Walker
- Champion Brewing hosts fundraiser for Walker Elementary playground
- Pushing for play: The local mom behind an effort to bring a playground to Walker Elementary
- Making a play at Walker
- Parents seek to raise funds for first playground at Walker
- Public discussion held on playground addition to Charlottesville school
If you have questions or would like to be added to a mailing list to receive updates on how you can be involved, please email Christa Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make a donation here.