The El Primer Paso School in Dover, NJ realized a “long-time dream” when it opened a new play area, said Susan O’Donnell, director of El Primer School.
At the unveiling, El Primer Paso school family and supporters gathered, along with New York Jets players, to spread 20 tons of green and white loose-fill rubber mulch around their new play area.
“We send out proposals all the time, but I never in a million years thought a small organization like ours would receive something so meaningful,” O’Donnell said.
El Primer Paso is a preschool that serves at-risk Latino children ages three to five from low- to moderate-income families, however, the school is open to all children.
The school received a $45,000 donation for a new fitness-focused play area made possible through a partnership between the United Way of Morris County, the New York Jets and the NFL’s PLAY 60 program, a national youth health, and fitness campaign to tackle childhood obesity.
To bring the play area to life, El Primer Paso worked with Joe Del Vecchio, a General Recreation sales consultant out of Newtown Square.
“The playground is decked out in the Jets’ team colors and has a fitness circuit with a balance beam, steppers, chin-up bar, and other features. We also have signs with fitness tips in English and Spanish,” Del Vecchio said.
“Joe did everything to make sure our playground was perfect. We were especially grateful to him for helping us get the signs translated into Spanish,” O’Donnell said. “And, one of our sponsors provided funding for a handicap-accessible ramp. It’s been a long-time dream of ours for children of all abilities to be able to play on our playground.”