Western U.P. School Shoots for Playground Grant

A Western U.P. school has a 40% chance of getting a playground equipment grant that involved the National Football League.

Ontonagon Area Elementary School is being consolidated next year into the same space the middle and high schools use.

They’ve applied for a grant for new playground gear for their new home.

It required kids to have a play day on their current playground while including a service project to be done that same day.

while including a service project or two.

Several kids we spoke with today told us about the work they did in September to the Little League baseball field at the elementary school.

They cleaned and painted the dugouts and got one of their parents to till the infield dirt.

The new playground would be at the high school, next to the gym.

Ontonagon is in the top 5 out of 1,200 schools nationwide.

Students and staff are encouraging people to go online and vote.

Kirsten Menigoz is a school success worker and counselor at the school.

She says with the mine closures about 20 years back, then the docks closing, and now Smurfit-Stone laying people off twice in less than a year, Ontonagon is having a tough time of late.

But she says the village has pulled together before, and she’s confident it can again.

She says she tried her best to tell Ontonagon’s story as a community in trouble when she filled out the grant paperwork.

Le’Ron McClain of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens looked over all the applications, and it was up to him to choose the 5 finalists that people are voting on.

He picked Ontonagon Area Elementary School as one of the 5.

Out of those 5, the top 2 schools in vote count get $10,000 each.

To vote through December 1st, you can go online to www.kaboom.org/playday .