The Children’s Learning Center held a beautiful ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new re-built playground on Friday, April 27, 2018.  Due to the rain, the event was held inside and CLC students and guests made their own sunshine!  It was a wonderful celebration of Theresa’s Fun Place and Ava’s Adventureland!

Lots of guests and students helped cut the ribbon

Cutting the ribbon to celebrate the playground!

This fully adapted playground and park was first established in June 2004 as a result of a generous grant from the Theresa Russo Foundation.  Theresa Russo was a student at the CLC and her family established the Foundation in her memory in 1992.  The Foundation is dedicated to assisting children with disabilities and their families and strives to touch the lives of children through its support of workshops and programs of enrichment and therapy.

Vincent and Susan Russo express their happiness to the audience

The playground has been thoroughly enjoyed year-round by thousands of children who attend school at CLC and has been the site of many Homecoming celebrations, carnivals, concerts, sporting events, movie nights, science fairs, festivals and picnics since!

The CLC Dance Team brings joy to the ceremony

Chorus at Playground ribbon cutting

In 2017, the playground was revitalized and rebuilt thanks to the generosity of the Theresa Russo Foundation, the Kelly Family and the CP Nassau 5K walk/run/roll/stroll event in November 2017.

Other news about the playground: 

The new “Buddy Bench”  was placed here in honor and memory of our dear friend Kurt Murgo, CLC Teacher and Assistant Principal who passed away in August 2016.  The CP Nassau 5K bench—this event raised $57,000 for the playground thanks to the 132 participants, 4 sponsors and all donors who supported the  event.  Both benches were handcrafted by students from the carpentry program at BOCES Barry Tech in Westbury under the direction of Mr. Anthony Ianucci.

 

There are eleven street signs in the playground!  Three are new:

-Ava’s Avenue is named for CLC student Ava Pupa (granddaughter of Martin Kelly)

-Judy’s Junction is named for Judy Murdaugh Jackson—board member of the Theresa Russo Foundation and generous donor to the playground

-Ruby Road is named in memory of Susan Russo’s mom (Theresa’s grandmother) who passed away in 2017