Nearly 1,000 Carnell School children and their community will benefit from a more accessible, engaging and welcoming space for active play and learning.

PHILADELPHIA, PA, October 19, 2018 – State Sen. Christine Tartaglione, State Rep. Jared Solomon and City Councilwoman Cherelle Parker joined School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite, leaders of the Oxford Circle Christian Community Development Association and the Laura H. Carnell Elementary School community to present $250,000 in state and city funding for the development of much-needed green playspace that will provide nearly 1,000 Carnell students with new learning and active play opportunities.

The green playspace project is a partnership that seeks to transform Carnell’s empty asphalt schoolyard into a more welcoming community-centric space that engages students and families in safe, accessible, creative exercise. OCCCDA partnered with the Community Design Collaborative, along with students and parents, to design the playspace. This funding kicks off the process to bring this multi-phase project to life.

“I am very proud to join with Representative Solomon, Councilwoman Parker, the School District and the community on this project, which will benefit these young learners for many years to come,” Tartaglione said. “In an era when public schools in our cities face many challenges, this partnership is a shining example of what we can accomplish when we work together on the state, local and community levels toward a common goal. That goal is to provide our children with the education they deserve.”

“I am thrilled to be part of this great project team to help bring these kids at Carnell a beautiful new schoolyard,” Solomon said. “This has been a truly collaborative and inclusive process, and the final product is all the stronger because of that. These kids are going to have a great place to play, and I am excited to work with Councilwoman Parker and Senator Tartaglione to make this happen.”

Parker said: “By transforming this empty, asphalt schoolyard into an inviting and vibrant green play space, it will provide a safer, greener, more welcoming environment for our youth and families to actively learn and play. This growing and diverse community deserves a quality space, and it’s a pleasure to team up with Sen. Tartaglione, Rep. Solomon, the District and OCCCDA to help bring this vision to fruition.”

“The School District of Philadelphia is thrilled to have green schoolyards at a growing number of schools across the city, which will soon include Carnell Elementary School,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent. “Not only will the green space at Carnell provide students the opportunity to play and exercise, but it will also offer a hands-on way for students to learn. These are the types of spaces all students should be able to utilize and we are working to make them more accessible throughout Philadelphia.”

“I believe that all children deserve access to a quality education,” said Anita Lyndaker-Studer, executive director of OCCCDA. “We have been working to support this vision through our Carnell Family Resource Center and are so excited to see the community vision for green play and learning space come to life in the designs from Stantech and the Community Design Collaborative. The DCED Greenways grant has been a true city and state supported initiative with the match provided by Councilwoman Parker and the full support of Representative Solomon and Senator Tartaglione moving the grant through the approval process. The village has truly spoken out on behalf of our children at Carnell and we thank you!”

The conceptual plans include a centrally located ground mural and running path intended to celebrate the cultural diversity of the student population. The basketball courts will include two basketball and two soccer goals and a 15-foot chain link fence behind the goals. Recycled rubber play surfaces and mounds will help to demarcate play areas between the younger and older students.

Additionally, a rock wall and play surface will allow students to strengthen body coordination, and an access pathway and ADA approved ramp will provide greater accessibility.

The total project cost is roughly $1 million. OCCCDA and Carnell are pursuing additional grants from the Philadelphia Water Department to fund stormwater management improvements (rain garden).

For video of the full news conference, visit:

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For additional information contact:

Andrew Dalzell
Office of Rep. Jared G. Solomon


Solomon Leach
Office of Councilwoman Cherelle L. Parker