Propel is committed to building dynamic, imaginative playgrounds critical for our students, many of whom have little or no access to safe and creative play spaces at home or in their neighborhoods. These playgrounds will be community assets, helping all children in these struggling neighborhoods to grow healthy, happy, and successful through an experience of exploration, activity, friendship, and adventure. These playgrounds, like our schools, contribute to the revitalization of Pittsburgh, helping to make these communities a great place to live and work.
Play has been linked to behavioral development and brain growth as well, showing regular physical activity having significant positive effects on academic performance and has been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that many children, particularly those living in poverty (Propel is 75% free/reduced lunch), should receive even more enrichment activities for creative growth, self-reflection, and
decompression. Propel Plays will:
Provide an important resource for students to be physically active.
Enable students to develop social and emotional well-being.
Enhance students learning readiness and problem solving skills.
Encourage skills such as teamwork, cooperation, mutual respect.
Create play environments that match the quality of Propel's schools.
Demonstrate Propel's broader view of education that includes a focus on creative and physical enrichment activities.
A Plan for Play
Over the next three years, Propel plans to design and build outdoor play spaces at its elementary school locations: East, Braddock Hills, Homestead, Montour and McKeesport, each uniquely designed based on input from students, teachers, administrators and community participants. An emphasis will be placed on experiential learning opportunities to enhance and extend what's happening in Propel's classrooms such as outdoor classrooms, flower and vegetable gardens, composting, rain barrels and sustainability projects. Propel will engage civic leadership, community volunteers, and community organizations who can become collaborative partners in each playground.
Support Propel Plays
Propel will provide donors with various opportunities to be recognized for their contributions. Some of these opportunities include: public recognition at groundbreaking ceremonies, naming rights, media attention and more. Support us with your contribution to:
Provide clean, safe play spaces
Develop critical life skills
Help build communities
Make a Donation
To make an online donation to Propel Plays with your credit card (Mastercard or Visa only!), click here. To pay by check, download the form (pdf), complete, and send with your donation to:
Director of Development, Propel Schools
3447 East Carson Street, Suite 200
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
In April 2011, East was the first Propel elementary school to benefit from the Propel Plays donations and efforts! A beautiful playground was built in only one day by community members, staff, students and very helpful volunteers. See the entire build process, in just one minute:
In April 2012, Braddock Hills was the next Propel elementary school who was able to build a playground for students and community children to enjoy. This sprawling and stunning playground was built in less than three days, and is a KaBoom! playground, sponsored by Duquesne Light. We welcome you to browse through the team-building and play-filled moments of building the playground in Propel Braddock Hills - just click any of the images below:
Two perfect Propel school playgrounds done - three more to go!