CWU students set to improve Kittitas Elementary Playground

Joshua Smith , Staff Reporter

Under the supervision of James Avery, associate professor of management, students are pursuing philanthropic opportunities with the intention of bettering their communities by improving the Kittitas Elementary playground. 

Kyle Young, a senior studying Business Administration– graduating this spring– along with his classmates Shianne McFee, Brennan Gillner and Harrison Giles, have pooled their efforts into this project.

“Using GoFundMe mainly as a primary source, [we] raised right under $600,” Young said. “We were aiming for around $2000, but what we got we can give them some small improvements.”

These improvements include 6-pack sets of basketballs, footballs and soccer balls, four tether-ball sets, paint for touching up playground lines and four new nets for basketball hoops. Further improvements include filling in pot-holes and clipping trees and shrubs that have found their way onto the playground.

“We’re excited with what we’re doing,” Young said.

However, Young said although the class helped give a sense of “improving the community,” the class is not without faults. Three months is too little time to make a substantial change and get adequate funding according to Young.

Young said the program might improve if they just “make it a year long.”

Young’s playground-project is not the only one coming out of the Leadership Management Capstone Class. One group worked with Friends In Service to Humanity (FISH) to plant vegetables, another group worked along the Yakima planting trees, and another raised money for foster-kids in Vietnam while also building a website and becoming pen-pals with the children. 

For those interested, a marketing video detailing all the students’ exploits will be released within a few weeks. 

Nonprofits and organizations that believe they may benefit from CWU student assistance are encouraged to reach out to  Avery. 

“The hardest thing was figuring out what we wanted to do,” Young said.