BRISTOL – Mary Hawk, principal of Mountain View Elementary School, has a message for everyone in the school community and beyond: Keep on voting!
Mountain View is just a few days away from winning the 2019 Colgate & ShopRite Recycled Playground Challenge for a new playscape. But that can only happen if people remember to go to the Terracycle website and vote every day from now through June 30.
Colgate, ShopRite and TerraCycle, a recycling company that specializes in hard-to-recycle waste, are running the contest, in which one school can win a colorful new playscape made from recycled materials with a retail value of $55,000.
Mountain View’s 30-year-old, rusting playscape was damaged by vandals two years ago, and what was left had to be demolished at the start of the last school year. The pre-kindergarten kids have their own playscape which is usable, but the older students just have hopscotch, basketball courts and other games painted on the blacktop nearby. Right now there is a pile of dirt where the old playscape was behind the school.
The school entered the contest and has been in first place for months now, briefly losing ground to a Southington school recently, then regaining the top spot.
Everyone is excited about the upcoming end to the contest, Hawk said.
The students “were bubbling with excitement on the last day of school, thinking about how much fun recess is going to be next year.”
“I’m humbled by the outpouring of support,” she said. “The slogan ‘Bristol is All Heart’ has been the embodiment for the last days of this contest. The entire city has come together with one purpose: Fulfilling kids’ dreams.”
Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu “has gone above and beyond to help us,” Hawk said. “I have been receiving emails from different office buildings around the city who have collectively voted together each morning. The past few days have been so inspiring. A big thank you to all the other schools, their PTOs, and our amazing PTO and parent volunteers who have supported us.”
“I started my teaching career in Bristol in 1993 as Miss Goodwin. I consider Bristol my second home, I just want a safe place for my students to play,” she said, adding “a win for Mountain View is a win for the entire city.”
Amy Clark, Mountain View PTO treasurer, said the PTO has raised just over $18,000 toward the goal of $75,000 to replace the playscape.
“So we’re chipping away at it slowly, but the contest will really help because then we can use the funds raised for ground cover and we have bricks that we need to order. We have sponsorship forms, anywhere between $50 and $1,000, and you can get your name or your family’s name engraved on a brick, and we’re going to have a walkway made for the new playscape,” Clark said.
There are two ways to help Mountain View:
1. Vote for the school at the contest website: www.terracycle.com/en-US/contests/colgateshopriteplayground2019
Participants can vote daily and each separate email address counts as a separate vote. The first vote will require you to confirm your email when you get a message from “brigades- firstname.lastname@example.org,” by going into your email and clicking this link.
If you don’t do this your vote won’t count, but after that each vote is a simple click.
2. Bring your oral care containers to Mountain View Elementary to recycle.
Each vote counts as one Playground Credit and each unit of used, post-consumer oral care waste also counts as one Playground Credit. A “unit” is defined as 0.02 pounds of used, post-consumer oral care products and packaging.
The recycled materials used to make the playscapes are oral care waste, according to the contest website. These consist of toothpaste tubes and caps, toothbrushes, toothpaste cartons, toothbrush outer packaging and floss containers, which are shredded and melted into hard plastic that can be remolded into new products.
There is a box just outside the Mountain View front door for people to drop off any of these products, Hawk said.
“Mountain View staff has volunteered to box and send any materials that we collect,” she said.
Ivy Drive Elementary School is also in the contest and is currently at sixth place.
The contest prize for the first runner-up school is a playhouse and slide made from recycled materials, with a retail value of $25,000.
The second runner-up school will get a ShopRite gift card for $1,250. The next six runner-up schools will each receive a ShopRite gift card for $150.
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or email@example.com.