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Teenagers arrested after they burn down playground in California....we will make contact with the reporters..
And Give Them Our Idea... Click Here To See The Story

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Over 87 playgrounds rebuilt in the United States with our idea!

Here is our Shark Tank Moment.....

We own www.boxtops4playgrounds.org and .com

We own www.pennies4playgrounds.org and .com

So unlike www.boxtops4education.com we don't see what the School Systems buy...

But....www.boxtops4playgrounds.org and .com a community can collect boxtops...and submit them and SEE A NEW PLAYGROUND!!!


Richmond elementary school playground fire under investigation

Click Here for full story.!!!

Posted: Sep 02, 2012 9:49 AM EDT Updated: Sep 02, 2012 9:49 AM EDT


Richmond Fire is investigating a playground fire at an elementary school in the 2000 block of North 28th Street.

Crews tell us they were first called out around 4:00 a.m. Sunday for reports of a building fire, but found the playground behind Woodville Elementary School in flames.

The fire was out in a matter of minutes, but the playground was destroyed.

The investigation is ongoing.

Stay with NBC12 for updates on this developing story.

Fire damages playground equipment at Richmond elementary school
Posted:  09/02/2012 2:56 PM

Richmond authorities are investigatng an overnight fire that damaged playground equipment at an elementary schools in the city's East End.

Richmond firefighters arrived around 4 a.m. today at Woodville Elementary School, in the 2000 block of North 28th Street and found one of the school's playground's in flames.

By noon, much of the damaged equipment was hauled a away and yellow caution tape encircled the playground.

It will not be known until mid-week, at the earliest, if the entire playground equipment will need to be replaced.

Richmond Fire Lt. Robbie Hagaman said the fire is under investigation and is being treated as suspicious.

He asked that anyone with information about the fire should call Crimestoppers at (804) 780-1000.

"We really, really need anybody that has information ... or may have seen anything to call CrimeStoppers, because we really need to get a handle on this," Hagaman said.

Second District School Board member Kimberly B. Gray heard about the fire while attending a nearby church.


Nothing is more disturbing than somebody deciding to burn playground equipment.   The people who suffer is the children and the community.   I believe that carnage and destruction brings more and more of the same.  We as a community needs to stand up and make a difference.  We need to come together and work with each other no matter what area in our community these senseless acts occur.

The Idea for this project came to me when our Echo Lake School started a fund raiser for blankets. It was called "Pennies For Blankets"  my child was instructed to collect loose change from my car, home and yes even places we don't go...in between the sofa cushions.  This year Echo Lake School started a fundraiser for our own playground equipment using the same idea.

So when the Richmond Times Dispatch ran a story on one of our local Elementary Schools playground being destroyed I decided to get involved. 

It is with hope that we can bring this idea to a national level where we can help any community that might need the same spirit that Richmond Metro showed in getting the playground fixed for George Mason Elementary.

Success!!!! Mission Completed!!

Faces of 2009: The George Mason Elementary School playground

Faces of 2009: The George Mason Elementary School playground

Related Info

Read more of our profiles of interesting and fascinating people the Times-Dispatch has reported on during the past year.

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Buzz up!

WHY YOU KNOW IT: A fire, an act of arson, left the old playground a smoldering heap of plastic in early June, just days before field day. WHAT'S NEW: As the year comes to an end, children near Richmond's George Mason Elementary are testing the limits of the East End school's fancy, modern playground.

They were doing the same a year ago. The only difference is the equipment.

The $70,000 playground was a total loss after the June fire, thanks to an insurance deductible higher than the replacement cost and a budget crunch that left no money for new equipment.

W.E. Singleton, a retired real estate investor and local philanthropist -- he's the namesake of the performing-arts center at Virginia Commonwealth University -- stepped in and picked up the tab. He did it in honor of his mother, a longtime city employee known as Mrs. Recreation for her work with parks.

"The kids were devastated," said Felicia Cosby, the school-system spokeswoman. "The playground is much more than just the physical hardware. It's really a sign of their innocence."

She said the school system couldn't thank Singleton enough, for the equipment and for the lesson it is allowing them to teach. "We can show them the difference one person can make," she said. "The donation represents the outpouring of community love and concern."

-- Zachary Reid

June 3 2009

George Mason Playground burns in the Night

By Staff Reports

Published: June 3, 2009

A fire heavily damaged the equipment at a playground in Richmond's Church Hill neighborhood this morning, and authorities are investigating the possibility that it was the work of an arsonist.

Authorities said the fire was reported shortly after 3 a.m. at George Mason Elementary School at 813 N. 28th St.

According to officials, the mulch at the playground appeared to have been set on fire.

By the time firefighters arrived, the plastic playground equipment had been essentially destroyed by the flames.

No injuries were reported.

Richmond school’s playground destroyed by probable arson fire

By Zachary Reid

Published: June 4, 2009

Field day will go on, but the summer won't be the same at George Mason Elementary School in Richmond after an early-morning fire destroyed the playground.

The fire, called in at about 3:30 a.m. yesterday, engulfed most of the metal structure, burning away the blue-and-red plastic coating and melting the sliding boards into pools of yellow, mulch-infused muck. The one-alarm fire was quickly extinguished, but the $70,000 playground is a complete loss.

"It was a pretty nasty thing to do," said Capt. William Martin of the Richmond Police Department.

The fire remains under investigation, but early signs point to arson, he said. "We're not seeing any accidental causes," he said.

A little after 9 a.m., Principal Sandra Bynum joined a small crowd of school officials looking over the damage and securing the gate into the playground.

With the school year winding down, she said students were pushing through the last round of SOL testing -- third-, fourthand fifth-graders were taking the tests as she spoke -- with an eye on Tuesday's annual field day. This year, she said, the community helped put together "an extreme field day," with inflatable rides and games and other goodies planned. It will go on, but the custom playground won't be part of it.

"The whole community is going to suffer because of this," she said. "It's devastating. The kids are upset, and a lot of the teachers are upset."

She spent the first hour of the school day going from class to class, offering grief counseling to students.

"This upsets them," said Felicia Cosby, the school system spokeswoman. "This is their home."

Their home isn't likely to be replaced soon. The school system's insurance policy has a $100,000 deductible.

And with next year's budget already tight because of decreased funding, there doesn't appear to be money for unplanned playground equipment, Cosby said.

Martin said it appeared someone set a fire or fires on the structure and that it smoldered for a while before spreading. He said there was a report of someone in the area near the time of the fire, but the description of the person didn't offer much to go on.

Playground or not, Mason will remain open throughout the summer. It will be the site for summer school for its students, plus those from nearby Bellevue and Chimborazo elementary schools.

Supporters gear up to replace burned playground in Richmond

By Zachary Reid

Published: June 4, 2009

With ideas big and small, community supporters began lining up today to find the money to rebuild the playground at George Mason Elementary School in Richmond.

The $70,000 piece of equipment was damaged in a fire early yesterday morning, and Richmond fire officials investigating the case suspect the blaze was set intentionally.

"It's just senseless," said David Ballard, the one-time School Board chairman who now leads the Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation.

He said the foundation set aside $2,000 to establish a fund to replace the equipment and is soliciting money from other sources.

"It's really a placeholder, something to set up a budget line," he said. He said he thinks foundation directors and supporters will "dip into their own pockets" to increase the pot.

"This is exactly what part of our mission is," he said.

On a smaller scale, community activist Ron Melancon is pushing for schoolchildren in the city and in surrounding counties to collect pocket change. He said he's looking for corporate donors to match whatever the children can collect.

"It shouldn't have to take a year to rebuild this," he said. "Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could get it done in five days?"

He said his idea was inspired by a collection at his son's Henrico County elementary school last winter, when students brought in as much as 99 cents a day for five days, then pooled their money to buy blankets for people who needed them.

"There's no physical reason why this can't happen," he said. "Why can't we, on Monday morning, say, 'We have five days to do this?'"

Richmond schools spokeswoman Felicia Cosby said she had seen Melancon's proposal but hadn't yet discussed it with administrators. For now, she said, the focus is on getting as much community support as possible for the Church Hill school's field day Tuesday.

Cosby said the goal is to have the charred playground removed by field day, but she wasn't sure whether it could be done that fast.

Even with money in hand, it could take months to replace the equipment, said the school system's plant services manager. Playgrounds of that sort typically are purchased as a package that comes installed, and the summer is the busiest time of the year for installation.

Philanthropist to replace George Mason Elementary’s playground

By Zachary Reid

Published: June 6, 2009

Thanks to a local philanthropist, George Mason Elementary School is getting a new playground.

Two days after the school's showplace piece of recreational equipment was destroyed by fire, longtime Richmond resident W.E. Singleton said he would cover the entire cost of replacing it. The project will cost about $70,000, school officials said.

"I'm doing it in memory of my mother," Singleton said yesterday.

His mother, Ellen Passmore Singleton, was known as "Mrs. Recreation" during a career with Richmond's parks and recreation department that stretched from 1937 to 1966.

"My wife and I give from time to time," said Singleton, a retired real estate investor who is the namesake of the performing-arts center at Virginia Commonwealth University and a major benefactor of the school's jazz program. "You gotta give back."

Singleton attended Robert E. Lee Elementary, Albert Hill Middle and Thomas Jefferson High schools in the city.

His donation will be administered by the Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation.

David Ballard, the former School Board chairman who heads the foundation, said he got the call about 8:45 a.m. yesterday.

"It was a good start to the day," Ballard said. "It gives you hope. It just shows good people are out there. Right now, the school system needs it. Next time, it could be somebody else."

The plastic-coated, metal-based playground was destroyed in a fire officials believe was intentionally set. The fire, reported at about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, is under investigation.

The school system's insurance policy for buildings and grounds has a $100,000 deductible, so the equipment wasn't covered.

Even with money in hand, it could take months to get a new playground in place since the manufacturer has already scheduled its summer installations. School officials hope they can have the project done by the time the next school year begins.

What a Gift

By Staff Reports

Published: June 6, 2009

Richmond rallied. When they learned of the burned playground at George Mason Elementary School, citizens began to ask how they could help. Every offer came from the heart.

And how does the community thank W.E. Singleton? The local philanthropist called the Richmond schools with a pledge to cover the entire cost (about $70,000) of repairing the playground. He made the gift in honor of his mother, "Mrs. Recreation," who spent her career with the city's department of parks and recreation.

Singleton's gentle gesture does not surprise. He is the namesake patron of the performing arts center at VCU and an angel of the school's jazz program.

Generosity is a song that sweetens and delights

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