Volunteers Needed to Rebuild Johnson Elementary Castle Playground

Published on February 26, 2019 at 11:58 a.m.
WHAT: Volunteers Needed to Rebuild Johnson Elementary Castle Playground
WHEN: Now until March 10, 2019
WHERE: Andrew Johnson Elementary School, 1001 Ormond Drive, Kingsport, TN 37664
Kingsport City Schools, Andrew Johnson Elementary School, and the Andrew Johnson Elementary School PTO are asking the Kingsport community and regional friends of The Castle Playground to volunteer in the construction of the new Castle playground located on Johnson Elementary School property, 1001 Ormond Drive, Kingsport, TN 37664.
After more than a quarter-century, the iconic wooden structure, affectionately known as The Castle (built in 1990), reached the end of its expected life and was demolished on December 21, 2018. The structure may be gone, but the memories made by the children and families of Kingsport and the Tri-Cities area are priceless and forever.
"To see our community coming together to give the gift of play to the children of our region has been one of the most inspiring experiences of my career," said Johnson Elementary Principal Dr. Stacy Edwards. "Our community is not building the playground, but rather, the playground is building the community. This collective effort will result in a one of a kind playground that will benefit children for generations to come." 
The new playground, sponsored by the Johnson Elementary PTO, a non-profit organization, is five years in the making and was inspired by the ideas of current Johnson Elementary students with the guidance of PlaybyDesign. The vision is to rebuild a community funded, accessible, innovative playground for all children of Kingsport. Some of the features include a pirate ship, climbing wall, racing slides and lots of swings. The rendering can be found on castleofkingsport.com.  
"The Johnson PTO are so excited for the Community Build to begin. We are beyond thrilled to see people from all walks of life come together for one goal," said Johnson Elementary PTO President Ashley Hill. "Don't miss out on the opportunity to help participate and build the Castle of Kingsport."
Pre-construction work is taking place now while the main playground construction will take place from March 5-10, 2019. Whether you are a skilled craftsman or just wanting an opportunity to improve the community, you can help by becoming a volunteer. There are four ways in which you can help make the new Castle a reality: 1.) Volunteer - build the playground or serve meals/drinks, 2.) Donate - Supply materials and/or tools to build the playground, 3.) Sponsor - Lunch, dinner or snacks for the volunteers, and 4.) Financial Contribution - Purchase a personalized engraved wooden picket that will surround the playground. The PTO has attained 69 percent of their $275,000 total budget. 
There are three (3) four-hour shifts to choose from. 1st Shift: 8 a.m.-12 p.m. (lunch provided); 2nd Shift: 12:30-4:30 p.m. (dinner provided); and 3rd Shift: 5-8:30 p.m. Please take note of the volunteer age requirements; you must be 14+ to participate and 18+ to build the playground.
For more information, to register as a volunteer, to supply materials/tools, or to reserve your personalized engraved wooden picket, visit castleofkingsport.com
PlaybyDesign's mission is to create unique, safe, and affordable all-inclusive play structures that provide a recreational environment in which all children can grow physically, socially, and cognitively. Their creative structures are well known for their inclusion of imaginative play and sensory-stimulating activities. For more information, visit pbdplaygrounds.com.
Kingsport City Schools (KCS) is a public school district located in Kingsport, Tenn., serving students in Sullivan and Hawkins county. The district is comprised of 13 schools, including a Pre-K, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, a high school program of choice and an alternative learning program; with total enrollment over 7,700 students. The vision of Kingsport City Schools is to Inspire. Cultivate. Impact. 

For more information on KCS, visit k12k.com, listen live on WCSK 90.3 FM, The Voice of KCS, read our blog, We Are KCS, download our mobile app for Apple / Android devices or call (423) 378.2100. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook (Kingsport City Schools), Twitter (@KCS_District), LinkedIn (Kingsport City Schools) and check out our YouTube Channel (KPTSchools).