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posted: 7/30/2013 1:50 PM

St. Norbert in Northbrook wins playground in contest

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Submitted by Playworld Systems

St. Norbert School in Northbrook will get new playground equipment as one of two winners of a national "Write to Play" playground contest.

St. Norbert's won a playground for children ages 5-12 years from Playworld Systems that will include a small climbing wall, slides and a variety of other apparatus.

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To enter, contestants had to complete an online entry form, including a brief essay explaining why they wanted to bring play to their local community. They were also required to upload a photo of where the new playground would be installed. Once finalists were selected, those that "liked" Playworld Systems' Facebook page were able to vote for their favorite community and/or school.

Stacy Seiden's essay nominating St. Norbert School highlighted Kyle Caraher, a 17-year-old varsity football player who lost his life in a car accident last summer.

"To honor the memory of Kyle and his childlike charm, the Caraher family founded Kyle's Dreaming Tree. The project is raising funds to build a new playground where Kyle attended elementary school. The idea for the playground came to his mom, Karen Caraher, after she read an article in the school newspaper commemorating Kyle.

"Searching through his belongings after his death, Kyle's friends found architectural plans to build a tree house in his yard. The drawing accompanied a story about Kyle in the school paper. When Karen saw the picture, inspiration struck.

"The family chose to focus on Kyle's elementary school partially because of his lighthearted personality. The school also very much needs a new playground. The current one consists mostly of concrete with a few older pieces of play equipment."

Jenn Harry, interactive media manager for Playworld Systems, said, "We look forward to working with these two communities in the coming months to bring the transformative power of play to their area."

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