Let Them Be Kids

Let Them Be Kids is an all volunteer, non-profit organization created to build community capacity on the grassroots level, while building playgrounds, skate parks and fitness parks across Canada. These projects leave a legacy of community members who are inspired and better equipped to lay a strong foundation for a brighter tomorrow.

St. John Catholic Elementary School in Perth is a proud recipient of a 2010 Let Them Be Kids "Believe" Award! Every dollar raised by our community will be matched by Let Them Be Kids
to build a much needed playground at St. John's!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Perth Area Businesses Support Playground Build!

It's been a great week for St. John's Playground fundraising campaign, thanks to big-hearted contributions from local companies!

Two local Perth businesses, Barnabe's Your Independent Grocer and OzTREKK educational services, both became Rock Wall Challenge Donors through their generous $1,000 donations this week! Barnabe's is Perth local YIG grocery store, and OzTREKK assists Canadian post-secondary students in gaining admission to Australian universities.

Many other area businesses have expressed support for the new playground at St. John's, which will be open to all children in the community outside school hours, and we appreciate everyone's help and contributions! Stay tuned for future blogs about other generous donors in Perth's active and caring business community!

Photo courtesy of the EMC
Matt Miernik of OzTREKK educational services presents a $1,000 donation for St. John Catholic Elementary School's new playground to committee member, Donna Poole. In the foreground, from left, are excited St. John students, Emma Kealy, Gracie Costello, Connor Jackson and Bridget Hofstatter.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Barnabe’s YIG a Major St. John’s Supporter!

Sometimes, you just need a little faith!

St. John's Playground Committee members are busy talking with Perth area businesses and organizations about our community plan to transform our school yard this May 29.

This week, one local business approached us before we had even asked for support!

Playground Committee Chair, Diane Jackson, received a call at home directly from Matthew Barnabe, who owns Barnabe's Your Independent Grocer (YIG) in Perth. Apparently, Mr. Barnabe saw our story in the local paper and called to let us know that his grocery store would be supporting the playground with a generous $1,000 donation, as well as opportunities for fundraising activities, such as Saturday BBQ’s and 50/50 draws at Perth’s YIG grocery store.

We were amazed and heartened by Mr. Barnabe’s actions! At St. John’s, we appreciate that Mr. Barnabe heard about the new playground and sought us out, enthusiastically asking how he could help.

The moms of the Playground Committee continue our efforts as Jesus encourages us: “ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” When Mr. Barnabe called this week, he proved to us how one shows kind-heartedness and community leadership by freely giving to others, gladly and wholeheartedly.

Thank you to the Barnabe family for giving us all a little extra faith along our journey!

Photo courtesy of The Perth Courier
Matthew Barnabe presents a $1,000 cheque to St. John's Playground Committee Chair, Diane Jackson, which gives a great boost to the playground fundraising campaign! In the background, from left, are St. John's students and future new playground enthusiasts, Gracie Costello, Connor Jackson, Emma Kealy, Hayley Jackson, and Bridget Hofstatter.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thank you Lanark County CAS staff!

Last week, St. John’s Playground Committee Chair, Diane Jackson, had a chat with her cousin, Angie, who works for the local chapter of the Children’s Aid Society (CAS). Diane told her cousin about our project to build St. John’s an amazing new school yard.

Within just a few days, Angie called Diane to tell her that the staff of the Lanark County CAS were excited about St. John’s getting a new playground, and that they had taken up a collection among the staff to make a donation! Wow! We are thrilled and thankful to all of the generous CAS staff members. These individuals not only give to our community through their challenging and important work each day on the job, but they also find another way to support local children by helping to build St. John’s new playground.

Everyone here at St. John’s would like to thank these kind folks at the Lanark County CAS! We are lucky to have you supporting children in our area in so many ways. A heartfelt thanks to CAS staff Christina Campbell, Erin Higgins, Marilyn Ranger, Pam Mullin, Laurie Laden, Lesley MacPherson-Hojka, Alex Ferrier, Stacey Lambkin, Cindy Griffith, Lea Anne Brash, Doris McCue, Katrina Graham and Angie Riopelle.

We are also thrilled that the Lanark County Children's Aid Society will also be contributing $250 as an organization to the St. John Playground Build!  Thank you greatly for your generosity Lanark County CAS!

We continue to be in awe of all the people in our local community who inspire us in so many ways! God bless you all!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Perth Police Give Generous Donation!

We have received our first large donation for the building of our new playground at St. John's!

A big THANK YOU to the generous Perth Police Association for donating $1,500 to the Playground Fund. Our students, staff and families thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Photo courtesy of The Perth Courier
Pictured above is St. John's kindergarten teacher and teacher representative on the Playground Committee, Melanie O'Neil, accepting the donation from police Const. Corey Noonan. In front are excited students: Patrick Leaver, Elise Cobus, Justin Dowdall, Matthew Leaver and Brandon Monaghan.

Each year, the Perth Police Association holds a golf tournament to raise funds for Perth area community events, such as free Saturday public swims at the Perth and District Swimming Pool and free Sunday public skates at the Perth and District Arena. The Association's donation to the St. John's Playground Build is another example of how our hard-working, dedicated community police force is committed to providing access to recreational play and sport for children in our area. Thank you and God bless you!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dotmocracy - Letting the Kids Choose

Just before and after Christmas, we went to the talented, creative students at St. John's to find out what type of playground they would pick!

With a program called Dotmocracy, students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade Six were able to VOTE for playground items they would love to have in their school yard.

Needless to say, we are very excited to see what the playground developers put together for us with these results!

Here are the St. John's Dotmocracy results:


1. Spiral Slide= 168 votes
2. Double Wide Slide= 60 votes
3. Wave Slide= 44 votes
4. Triple Wide Slide= 28 votes
5. Elbow Slide=18 votes
6. Stargate Curved= 4 votes
7. Stargate Curved Slide= 4 votes

Accessible Components and Bridges
1. Pommel Wall= 90 votes
2. Lazy Loop Bridge= 81 votes
3. Floating Pod Bridge= 79 votes
4. Inclined Arch Bridge= 20 votes
5. Steel Spider Wall= 18 votes
6. Chain Net Wall= 10 votes
7. Arch Bridge= 4 votes

Overhead Events
1. Track Ride= 117 votes
2. 270° Horizontal Ladder= 85 votes
3. Horizontal Ladder= 12 votes
4. Zig Zag Ring Trek= 8 votes
5. Overhead Wheel=8 votes
6. Dual Ring Trek=7 votes
7. Wavy Horizontal Ladder= 7 votes
8. Ring Trek= 4 votes
9. Swing Ring Trek= 4 votes
10. Overhead Wheel Bridge = 1 vote

Activity Panels
1. Finger Maze= 47 votes
2. Animal Crawl Thru Panel= 44 votes
3. Store Front Panel= 34 votes
4. Tic Tac Toe Panel= 33 votes
5. Steel Seat Panel= 32 votes
6. Chime Panel= 16 votes
7. Dinosaur Panel= 13 votes
8. Happy Landing Panel= 5 votes
9. Vertical Rung Panel= 4 votes
10. Gear Panel= 2 votes

Ground To Deck Events
1. Rock Challenger Wall=53 votes
2. Chain Net Climber= 35 votes
3. Pommel Wall= 27 votes
4. Fredrock Climber= 25 votes
5. Crazy 8 Climber= 24 votes
6. Fire Pole= 20 votes
7. Stepping Pods= 18 votes
8. Corkscrew Climber= 15 votes
9. Spiral Clover Climber= 10 votes

Monday, January 4, 2010

Help Us Build a Playground!

Calling all Perth Area Businesses and Individual and Family Donors!

This is a terrific opportunity to become involved with our amazing community building project, but it won’t be possible without help from you!

We need to raise $51, 000 for this project. We are asking for your assistance and would like to recognize your contribution by offering the incentives listed below.

Level 1 - Super Spiral Slide - Cash Donation of $2,500
- Space provided to display your company's banner (provided by you) and be a guest speaker on Build Day
- Your name/logo in all our media ads, school newsletter, Build Day t-shirts and website
- Permanently posted recognition of your donation in or around the school, a framed thank you picture

Level 2- Rockin' Rock Wall Challenge - Cash Donation of $1,000
- Your name/logo in all our media ads, school newsletter, Build Day t-shirts and website
- A framed thank you picture

Level 3- Amazing Arch Bridge - Cash Donation of $500
- Your name/logo on our Build Day t-shirts and on our website
- A thank you picture

Level 4- Playful Pommel Wall - Cash Donation of $100-$499
- Your name on our website
- A thank you picture

Level 5- Enchanted Chime Panel - Cash Donation under $100
- Your name on our website

You can even make a donation in someone's honour and we will post it on our website!

We appreciate any and all donations! In order to receive a tax receipt for donations over $25, please make your cheque out to Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario or CDSBEO and mail to:

St. John Elementary School
34 Wilson St. East
Perth, ON K7H 1L6
Attention: Playground Committee

You can also contact one of our volunteers listed below and they would be happy to pick up your donation.

For additional information, please contact:

Diane Jackson Melanie O'Neil
bdjackson@my.lhnet.ca OR melanie.oneil@cdsbeo.on.ca
613-267-7606 613-267-2865 (at the school)

St. John's Playground Committee