On Saturday, September 21, the Rhode Island Hospital community came together to make the wishes of the students at Providence’s Carl G. Lauro School come true. This public
elementary school is the largest in Rhode Island, educating a diverse student body consisting of more than 900 students in grades K-5. Despite the size of
the school, it lacked a playground. On September 21, school staff and community partners came together to change things for the
Rhode Island Hospital and other partners collaborated to help raise funds and assist with the community build of the Carl G. Lauro School playground. The
event involved parents, community members and other volunteers, such as the Lauro School’s staff, City Year, Neighborhood Health Plan of RI, City of
Providence Parks & Recreation, Councilman Brian Principe and the Johnson & Wales University wrestling team, among others, who all teamed up to
install the new playground.
Tom Magliochetti, vice president of facilities management at Rhode Island Hospital and Judith Diaz, director of Lifespan Community Health Services,
attended the event on behalf of Rhode Island Hospital in honor of its 150th anniversary. “It feels great to have contributed to making this playground a reality for the
students of the Carl G. Lauro School,” says Magliocchetti. “Rhode Island Hospital is committed to our community, and to giving our students – some of whom
will go on to be tomorrow’s doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers – the brightest future possible.”
The new playground features more than 1,600 square feet of new playing surface and playground equipment that will be utilized by the entire student body.
It provides students with a place where they can enjoy much-needed fresh air and exercise. It will also help them to develop critical social skills and
physical fitness, while sparking their imagination and creativity through play.
An opening ceremony for the playground took place on Thursday, September 26.
The Lauro School’s partnership with Rhode Island Hospital dates back to 2012, when one of its teachers, Bill Black, reached out to see how the hospital
could work with the school. Since then, the two organizations have partnered on such events as a safety fair in June 2013 that attracted more than 300
students and family members, as well as a successful “Power Lunch” reading program, in which a Lifespan employee reads with a Lauro School student once a
week, throughout the academic year. Together, Lifespan and the Lauro School are working to develop creative programs and activities that will help the
students become knowledgeable about their health and continue to practice healthy habits.