Sussex Avenue Elementary School

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Sussex Avenue Elementary School, before new playground.
The current yard at Sussex Avenue Elementary School
Photo credit: 
TPL Archive

Sussex Avenue Elementary School serves a Central Ward neighborhood where parks and playgrounds are especially scarce. To address the community’s need for green space, The Trust for Public Land is partnering with Congregation Ahavas Sholom, Newark’s oldest operating synagogue. Together, we will transform Sussex Avenue Elementary’s barren asphalt schoolyard into a safe and vibrant green space for children to learn and grow. The partnership is an outgrowth of the synagogue’s passionate pursuit of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and tzedakah (social justice) and The Trust for Public Land’s belief that every child should have a place to play outside. The new playground will include recreation spaces for students from pre-kindergarten to 8th grade, and chess tables to reinforce strategic thinking, important to the school’s focus on math and science. Green elements—such as trees, and gardens for growing vegetables and capturing rain—will enhance outdoor learning while complementing the City of Newark’s efforts to improve water quality and the environment.

We reached our fundraising goal at the end of 2013, bringing us one step closer toward constructing a new schoolyard and play space for the students of Sussex Avenue Elementary School.

Support for this project came from the Charles Emil Thenen Foundation, CTW Foundation,
Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Gibson Family Foundation, Healthcare Foundation of New
Jersey, Helen & William Mazer Foundation, Hyde & Watson Foundation, John & Margaret Post
Foundation, Landsberger Foundation, Prudential Foundation, Provident Bank Foundation, PSEG,
Snowflake Youth Foundation, Victoria Foundation, Wallerstein Foundation for Geriatric Life
Improvement, and other private and public funding.

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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3 million acres and completed more than 5,200 park and conservation projects.