A mockup of what the Wildcat Walkway plaque might look like

The Lake Highlands Elementary PTA is fundraising to build a concrete path around their playground, and they’re using the most diabolically effective tool in their kit – handwritten letters from 2nd graders.

“Dear Neighbor,” wrote Leah, “I would relly like you to donat money so we can upgrade our walk-and-talk path. I like to run on it and I would like to run more.”

“The pathway is called the Wildcat Walkway,” continued Milja S. “I love the walkway because I can talk with my friends and play. Please donate to my school.”

Last year, the LHE PTA funded the first phase of the walkway with $17,000 from their auction proceeds. Now they are hoping to raise $30,000 to finish the path around the playground’s perimeter by reaching out to area residents, LHE parents and LHE alums.

“We are asking LHE parents to donate,” says PTA President Kristin Roan, “but we would love the neighborhood to support us as well. LHE serves as the community park for many families and the walkway benefits so many in our area. It’s a perfect place for young children to use their bikes and scooters, young mothers to push strollers, the elderly to walk on a smooth surface and the disabled to use wheelchairs.”

Roan made three additional points: (1) Despite enrollment growth, LHE still has its original small gym and cafeteria. PE must be taken outside and the walkway is an expansion of the gym. (2) LHE houses RISD’s DP (developmental program), and the children have loved using the first phase of the walkway in their wheelchairs. (3) The walkway ties in to RISD’s new health and wellness initiative. Children are using the path for “Take 9” breaks and “Walk-and-Talk” in the mornings, and they can walk and run after rains when grounds are muddy.

Roan, though, left her final pitch to the pros.

“We would like you to donate money,” wrote Siena, “that way more people including you will git to play on the path.”

Donors of $150 or more will have their name engrave on a plaque permanently installed in the walkway. Donations may be made online here.