Hillendale gets grant for running trail

The Unionville-Chadds Ford Education Foundation, which raises money to fund projects, programs and equipment throughout all six UCF schools, has awarded $5,000 to Hillendale Elementary School for a new half-mile running trail. The Education Foundation announced the grant award in a surprise celebration on Feb. 5, 2015 to Lara Scarborough, the Hillendale parent who submitted the grant request on behalf of the Hillendale Elementary PTO last fall.  Under the coordination of Principal Steve Dissinger, the entire school had assembled in the Hillendale auditorium and Scarborough was presented with balloons and big ceremonial check to the delight of the cheering students and staff. Members of the Education Foundation, together with U-CF Superintendent John Sanville and Assistant Superintendent Ken Batchelor, made the presentation. Dissinger also showed a wonderful video presentation on the trail’s evolution and projected uses.unknown

The Hillendale Trail will span the entire perimeter of the school’s property and will have a two-fold-purpose. First, the running trail will promote physical fitness and wellness among students and staff in a variety of ways. The new running trail will enhance Hillendales’ physical education classes; provide training and exercise space for the school’s fall and spring running club (which hosts the Husky Hustle 5K, Hillendales’ major annual event); enable outdoor breaks for students on sunny days; provide staff with the opportunity for exercise during lunch and other breaks; offer a safe place for Hillendale students, staff and community to walk, run and jog during non-school hours (especially while kids participate in sports’ practices or games on adjacent fields); and allow outside organizations and leagues to utilize the running trail for specified activities.

Second, the running trail will serve as an environmental education tool for Hillendale Elementary students and the surrounding community. A substantial storm water management project was completed at Hillendale Elementary in 2013 following the discovery that a storm water runoff and erosion problem had developed at the playground. The storm water management project helped stopped the erosion problem and improve the natural environment, and components of the project now are used as teaching tools for students at Hillendale Elementary. The Hllendale Trail will aim to connect each remedial component of the storm water project -- gardens, meadows, basins, and tree plantings -- into one continuous loop.

Hillendale Elementary is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year, and the running trail is a generous gift from its PTO (with $5,000 requested from the Education Foundation, and additional funds coming from PTO and other funding sources). It is clear the running trail will be what a wonderful addition to the school and the whole surrounding community. According to PTO Co-Presidents Lisa Wenturine and Maggie Heyer: "Celebrating 25 years of academic excellence -- we are so grateful to the UCF Education Foundation for their generous support of our school and the Hillendale trail. This project, sponsored by the Hillendale PTO, reflects the very heart of what Hillendale is all about.  It is more than a grant. It's a gift promoting and strengthening community, family, good health, friendship and much more."

The UCF Education Foundation, now in its 20th year, is pleased to have funded more than $300,000 to date in educational enhancements in Grades K -12 throughout the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District. For more information on becoming a member of the UCF Education Foundation, please contact Michelle Reichert at 484-354-1730 or reichertmvb@gmail.com or visit our website at http://ucfedfoundation.org.



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