Teaming Up

Teaming Up

Last week, Sterling residents got a lesson in teamwork.

Sully Elementary School parents, teachers and volunteers helped build Discovery Park, an educational playground.

For the past year, Sully Elementary School PTO members Valerie Petrey and Peter Kronenburg have worked to raise money for the playground. Through bake sales, puppet shows and neighborhood yard sales, the PTO raised enough money to build a playground complete with a rock climbing wall and a history timeline.

Raising the money was only half the battle.

When volunteers arrived on-site, they were directed to a sign-up tent. Volunteers were divided into two groups, skilled and unskilled, based on their abilities to work an electric saw.

ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON, Sterling resident Katie Boulware assisted fellow volunteer Hector Velasquez with construction. The two worked together to finish one part of Discovery Park. For several hours, Boulware, a mother of two, carried wood and hammered nails into the playground.

ÒI came with my church group,Ó she said. ÒItÕs a great way to spend the day and help out the community.Ó

Across the monkey bars, Park View High School sophomore Luis Cruz worked on another part of the playground.

Cruz said he volunteered to help build Discovery Park because he has Òa lot of little brothers and sisters.Ó

ÒNow they have somewhere to play,Ó he said.

Cruz, who worked on the playground for several hours, learned an important lesson in teamwork.

ÒEverybodyÕs working together to make this happen,Ó he said.

Cruz, who used a drill to construct a crawl space, said he was comfortable with the job because of a technical education class he took at his school.

First-time builders like Perry Yousefzader, a resource teacher at Sully Elementary School, worked on other projects. Yousefzader painted historical facts onto multicolored, wooden squares, under a big, white tent.

ÒThis is for the history timeline,Ó she said. ÒWe just want to get them to try and remember it.Ó

THROUGHOUT THE WEEK, 1,200 volunteers dropped in and out of the schoolÕs backyard. On Sunday, the volunteers were down to the wire.

Clark Bowers, principal of Sully Elementary School, loaded and reloaded blue mulch onto a truck and dumped it next to the slides. Volunteers spread the mulch with oversized rakes.

ÒWe still have a lot of work to do,Ó Kronenburg said.

By sunset Sunday, Kronenburg and Petrey realized the park would not be complete by their one-week goal.

Tuesday, Virginia Paving and Shirley Construction helped the PTO members complete some of the remaining items like the gazebo roof.

Volunteers are welcome to show up after 5 p.m. throughout the week to help complete the park, Kronenburg said.

Kronenburg said he also needs volunteers to show up Saturday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 29, starting at 7 a.m.

"We are very close," Kronenburg said, "and just need the final push to finish this unique play structure."