BRISTOL – It’s unofficial: Mountain View Elementary appears to be the winner in an online contest for a new playscape.
Colgate, ShopRite and TerraCycle, a recycling company that specializes in hard-to-recycle waste, ran the contest, in which one school would win a colorful new playscape made from recycled materials, with a retail value of $55,000.
The contest ended June 30, with Mountain View at the top of the leaderboard, a position the school occupied for the past few weeks. However, Mary Hawk, Mountain View principal, said she expects to be officially notified in about two weeks.
It seems pretty certain but you never know, she said. “People are contacting me about it and I’d like to think we won, but it’s not really official until I get the call from them.”
She said she heard from a contact at Flanders Elementary School in Southington, which won the contest a few years ago, that it takes a couple of weeks to hear from the contest organizers.
People helped out by voting for the school on the contest website, and bringing their used oral care containers to Mountain View to recycle. Each vote and each unit (defined as 0.02 lbs) of used oral care waste counted as one Playground Credit. So the school with the most Playground Credits is the winner.
Hawk said she was not really sure why the official results would take so long, as she was told all the oral care waste units had to be in by last Friday or they wouldn’t be counted.
The recycled materials are used to make the playscapes, 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.
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 just a pile of dirt where their old playscape was behind the school.
So the school entered the contest. An enthusiastic school community response kept Mountain View in first place for months, briefly losing ground to Derynoski Elementary School in Southington recently, then regaining the top spot. Derynoski is shown as first runner-up on the leaderboard.
The first runner-up prize is a playhouse and slide made from recycled materials, with a retail value of $25,000. The second runner-up school gets a ShopRite gift card for $1,250. The next six runner-up schools will each receive a ShopRite gift card for $150.
Ivy Drive Elementary School also entered the contest and is listed at sixth place, so it should qualify for one of the $150 gift cards.
Hawk thinks that once the results are official it won’t take long for the playscape to be installed. “They work with Home Depot to get it in, so it should be very quick,” she said.
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.
Winning the contest will really help because then those funds raised can be used for ground cover and engraved bricks, she said. “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.”
For more information, visit the contest website: www.terracycle.com/en-US/contests/colgateshopriteplayground2019 .
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or email@example.com.