Jefferson Playground Project Debuts Video, Launches ‘Pennies to Play’

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The Jefferson Playground Project — an effort by the Jefferson School PTA to raise $100,000 for new playground equipment — got a big boost today with the debut of a three-minute promotional video and the “Pennies to Play” in-classroom change drive.

The video, edited by Deirdre Bell (mom of Jefferson 3rd-grader Grace), was shot on the grounds of Jefferson School in December by four Jefferson dads with professional media experience — Alexis Robie, Ben Niles, Dave Noll and Evan Fleischer. More than 30 Marshall School and Jefferson School students were interviewed for the video (Marshall teaches children from k-2 who then graduate to Jefferson School for grades 3-5).

Watch the video below (or view a higher resolution file here):

The video has been added to the Jefferson Playground Project gofundme page and its Facebook page, explained Mary Ellen Dawkins, who, along with Jen Klepesch, Joanna Klein, Sara Knutsen and Karen Palaitis, formed the Jefferson Playground Project Team. Thus far, the team has raised approximately $25,000 toward the $100,000 goal, with $10,000 of that amount seeded by last year’s PTA.

Today, the Project Team also kicked off its Pennies to Play change drive at Jefferson. Each classroom received a change collection jar, and the students watched the video.  Pennies to Play — and the video — will debut at Marshall School on Friday.

In December, the Project Team explained that they wanted the video “to illustrate the important role playgrounds play in the development of school-aged children — but from the perspective of our kids. We asked them questions like, ‘What would a world without playgrounds be like?’ and ‘How much do you think a playground costs to build?’ —  and we got some very insightful, and funny, answers.”


To donate to the Jefferson Playground Project, visit

For more information or to get involved, email

Click on any photo below to see a gallery from today’s activities at Jefferson School:

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