Logos Academy fundraising for community playground

Logos Academy, a 20-year independent, nonprofit school serves York County students regardless of income level. The academy opened an affiliate school in Harrisburg in the fall of 2018.

Logos Academy is looking to add the first  playground to its York City campus, which also would be a public space for the community.

The structure — including towers, slides, a crawlspace and climbing wall — would be housed in a 10,000-square-foot fenced space with swings, and the $150,000 cost would include security cameras and lighting, officials said.

It would be built this fall or early winter on the school's 250 W. King Street campus, facing Princess Street, in York City.

To help fund construction, the school is partnering with Give Local York with a goal of raising $50,000 for the project through a "fun fest" at the playground's future location on Big Give Day, Friday, May 3.

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The free festival will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and include bounce houses, food for purchase, music and a life-size hamster wheel that residents run on to make their own snow cones.

Platania said students and families are kick-starting the efforts with "a really fun internal fundraising campaign" in which a lovable duck, "Captain Codorus," is born under the King Street bridge into a loving family but is looking for a spot to meet friends and play.

The independent, privately funded school has been expanding since it moved into its building in the fall of 2010, adding a high school the following year, said operations manager Brian Platania.

"This is a need we've had for a long time," he said.

The playground, targeting grades K-5, also would  be open to the community, which is in keeping with the school's core values to be a community-oriented school that opens its doors to neighboring organizations, Platania said.

Logos partners with the York Jewish Community Center to host a before- and after-care program, and those students would be able to use the playground as well.

More:York-based Logos Academy expands to Harrisburg

"It’s going to add a whole new extra component to our program," said George Kapterian, coordinator for the J Clubs school-aged childcare program.

The center's other childcare sites have playgrounds, so it will be great to have access to all the same things, he said, and having a space that's managed by a school and well-maintained is a great asset to the community.

Platania said a playground also is  a need in the surrounding neighborhoods, as expanding housing on College Avenue is bringing in a lot of families, and the Newton Square area has a lot of young families as well.

Currently, students play on a grassy area across from the school, and although there have been no problems with safety, school officials want to make sure the new space is well-lit and protected to avoid any neighborhood concerns, Platania said.

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Projects like these tend to have success during Big Give Day because people know their donations are going to something tangible, said Give Local York organizer Meagan Feeser.

"They can picture it," she said, and they know their gift helped to make it happen.

More than 50 different activities and events across the county are scheduled for that day, Feeser said, and hosting an event in a space that a school or group is fundraising to support is a great way to engage the community.