The program winners will be those with the most votes. The deadline for supporters to respond is Dec. 19. The foundation seeks to provide the 1,000 students enrolled in the preK through fifth grade public school with a safe and healthy play environment using the award.
It is designed to help provide resources to school programs that give kids the opportunity to grow and develop. Winners are determined by text and web-based voting competition and on merit.
Supporters can vote via text by sending 502pbf to 95248. One vote per voting method is allowed per day for a total of two votes per day maximum per supporter.
“Woodward is a great school full of wonderful children — it’s time they had a wonderful playground,” said Kristin Gokce, a foundation volunteer who is organizing the effort. “Just like the grant program title, it’s time for a brighter future for these kids so get out there and vote every day.”
While Woodward Elementary is near the heart of Brookhaven, low-income families characterize its enrollment and most of its students are first generation Americans.
“This community is so rich in diversity and full of loving parents,” said Gokce. “Most, though, do not have the background or know-how to advocate for their school and that’s where the foundation comes in.”
The foundation promotes awareness of Woodward through community outreach and fundraising for special events and programs. It has sponsored science assemblies, volunteer days and helped deliver donated materials directly to school classrooms.
With ongoing pressure from federal and state funding cuts, school facilities like those at Woodward fall farther behind in what is often a highly political budgeting process in public education.
“These kids don’t really have a voice so we try to speak on their behalf,” foundation board member Mpaza Kapembwa said. “We have everything to gain by investing in their future and supporting this nomination is a great investment for Brookhaven.”