Access Point RI CEO and President Tom Kane
CRANSTON, RI—Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung joined the Cornerstone School community along with donors and volunteers to celebrate the school’s new playground on Tuesday.
Mayor Fung joined Access Point RI CEO and President Tom Kane, Cameron & Mittleman Managing Partner Karen DelPonte and Doris Alberg, Chairwoman of the Rhode Island Tree Council, for a brief dedication ceremony before the children scampered about inside the new play space, which bears a resemblance to a post-and-beam fish shack with terrific landscaping, a “fish chute” slide and a big sandbox.
Cameron & Mittleman Managing Partner Karen DelPonte
Mayor Fung said the new playground, which radically transformed the school’s outdoor recreation area, meets “a true need” since the school is “a critical service point for many individuals and an important part of our community. This will provide the opportunity for students to enjoy the playground, enhance their learning experience and have lots of fun integrating it into their learning day right here at the wonderful Cornerstone School.”
Doris Alberg, Chairwoman of the Rhode Island Tree Council
The new state-of-the-art playground, named “Cornerstone Cove,” is the result of a successful collaboration between the school, the law firm of Cameron & Mittleman, the Rhode Island Tree Council and others through a chain of events best described as a scattering of seeds sprouting at the same time to flourish into a beautiful garden.
Providence-based Cameron & Mittleman is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with a mission to do 30 good things, both inside the company and outside to make Rhode Island a better place.
Access Point RI, which operates the school, has been working to secure funding and form partnerships to update its play space. The school, which serves many children with disabilities, has roots that go deep in the community. One of its board members, Dan Majcher, knows John Campanini from the Tree Council. And when Cameron & Mittleman said they wanted to make a donation, “the connection became even greater,” Kane said.
“This came together because of people,” Kane said. “Your investment built this structure and supplied equipment, trees and plantings to make it beautiful. But your true investment is in these children. These children will learn because of what you did today.”
Karen DelPonte, a partner at the law firm, said that they originally wanted to plant 30 trees. That was when she bumped into her old friend, who happened to be Campanini. He told her: “I have another idea for you.”
“We are honored to be included in this wonderful project to support the school,” DelPonte said.
Alberg said that the planting of a tree is always a momentous occasion, especially at a school. The new playground includes two young trees and numerous low-maintenance plantings.
“We hope these children will one day come back with their children and say ‘this was my school and I was here when they planted this tree,’” Alberg said.
The playground features a lawn area, rubberized safety surfacing, magnetic murals, stone counters, an accessible sand play area, gardening area, talk tubes, water play areas, storage areas, a rope fence and the prominent play house “fish shack” feature.