Students at Woodward were welcomed back to school this year with an unexpected update to their playground. Two new half-court basketball courts, sporting developmentally-appropriate basketball hoops, were installed before the start of the school year.
That means second and third graders at the Woodward now have an opportunity to play a game of half-court basketball, shoot around with friends, or play skill-driven games to improve their shot during recess. The courts are also available to children and families after school hours and on the weekends.
Money for the project was collected by Friends of Southborough Recreation through grants and donations from local organizations and businesses. A significant portion of the funding came from the Choate Fund Trustees in the form of the 2012 Choate Grant, an annual award that supports programs or initiatives closely aligned with grant founder Charles F. Choate’s desire to encourage recreation in Southborough, especially for youth.
In addition, Southborough Youth Basketball Association and Middlesex Savings Bank both made donations to this project. The Town of Southborough, including the Board of Selectmen, Recreation Department, Building Department, Department of Health, School Facilities Manager and Woodward School Principal, Mr. James Randell, all supported the effort.
FOSR also said the project could note have come together without the help of Alpha Youth Sports who negotiated the two Jaypro basketball hoops and protective pads, Mr. Hoops who installed the hoops, and Forte Landscaping who painted the court surface. Volunteers including FOSR members Beth McGonagle and Estela Shingleton, and SYBA members John LaMalva, Bill Shields, and Jeff Cullen, were also key to the project’s success.
FOSR is a 501c(3) non-profit organization with tax-exempt status that provides funding for programs and improvements to support recreation opportunities in Southborough, as well as for scholarships and grants to deserving community members. One of their major fundraising efforts is the annual Gobble Wobble Road Race. The family-friendly event draws more than one thousand participants each year, and includes a certified 5K road race, 2 mile family walk and free kids fun run on Thanksgiving morning, November 22, 2012.