Manorhaven Elementary seeks votes for free playground

Manorhaven Elementary seeks votes for free playground
: Students encourage you to vote for Manorhaven School from Jan. 5-31 and help the school win a new fitness playground. (Photo courtesy of the Port Washington School District)

The Manorhaven Elementary School will have a free fitness playground but only if it gets enough votes.

Manorhaven is one of 160 schools competing for a $25,000 grant that will go toward a new outdoor fitness playground, indoor fitness equipment and a new physical education curriculum.

“This is a great opportunity for the children of Manorhaven, the school community and the district to receive a new fitness playground, free of cost,”  Superintendent of Schools Kathleen Mooney said.

The four schools with the highest vote totals will receive the grant. Voting is open until the end of the month at Each person can vote once each day.

Great Neck’s North Shore Hebrew Academy is also in the running.

The grant is part of the Danimals Back to School Grant Contest, sponsored by Dannon Yogurt and Project Fit America.

Project Fit America reached out to Manorhaven, according to the school’s principal, Bonni Cohen. For the past three years, Manorhaven Elementary has won the national Fit Active “Let’s Move” Active Schools Award.

The program was created as a part of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign and each year several hundred K-12 schools receive the award for integrating 60 minutes of exercise into students’ daily schedules.

Manorhaven has wasted no time getting the word out. Students have been working to raise awareness of the vote and families are encouraged to accept the Manorhaven Fitness Challenge by recording and sharing a short video of their child performing a special fitness activity.

“We are also making signs and banners to display around the community and around the school and we hope to use social media in a positive way,” Cohen said. “We’ll look to post pictures of the equipment and any willing participants who wish to help us get the word out.”

For Manorhaven, the timing of the contest could not have been better. A large portion of the school’s existing playground space will be lost to make room for an expansion of the school building for additional classroom space.

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