School Students Celebrate New Playground in Queens (NYC)

Far Rockaway, NY, 5/1/2008: Sixth through eighth-grade students at M.S. 53 Brian Piccolo School in the Far Rockaway section of Queens today celebrated the opening of a new community playground that they designed. The students were joined by teachers, parents, members of the community, and representatives from The Trust for Public Land (TPL). The celebration included a student performance and presentation and remarks by The Trust for Public Land’s Andy Stone and M.S. 53 Principal Claude Monereau.

The Trust for Public Land worked with students and community members from M.S. 53 and The Police Athletic League, the community sponsor to design the new playground, to better serve the needs of the children and neighbors in the community. Once a week for three months, TPL worked with sixth, seventh, and eighth grade classes during school as well as an after school group consisting of students, neighbors and Police Athletic League staff. The final design includes a track and field, a stage, basketball court, a gazebo, a volleyball/handball play space, play equipment, a world map, trees, and benches.

The M.S. 53 playground is the second funded by Deutsche Bank, who also funded the P.S. 246 playground in December 2006.

“Prior to the transition, students played on a barren one-acre asphalt lot, yearning for a place where they could play during recess or after school. Today, their dream became a reality,” said Andy Stone, director of the Parks for People-New York City program of The Trust for Public Land.

“Having access to an outdoor playground is critical to a child’s development, and this is a terrific way for us to ensure that the students at M.S. 53 can enjoy and benefit from all that a space like this can offer,” said Gary Hattem, president of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation. “It also is a great way for us to continue to contribute to the communities we serve.”

The Trust for Public Land, in partnership with the city’s PlaNYC initiative, is working to transform 185 schoolyards with playgrounds by 2010. The Trust for Public Land conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. TPL has created or enhanced more than 250 neighborhood parks in New York City, investing roughly $200 million in land purchases and in the design, construction, and stewardship of parks. For more information, visit

Deutsche Bank is a leading global investment bank with a strong and profitable private clients franchise. A leader in Germany and Europe, the bank is continuously growing in North America, Asia and key emerging markets. With 78,275 employees in 76 countries, Deutsche Bank competes to be the leading provider of financial solutions for demanding clients creating exceptional value for its shareholders and people. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., member NYSE, FINRA and SIPC, is the investment banking and securities arm of Deutsche Bank AG in the United States.

The Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation administers the philanthropic activities of Deutsche Bank within the United States, Latin America and Canada. Together, the Bank’s Community Development Group and Foundation carry out the firm’s corporate citizenship commitments through a program of loans, investments and grants. Based in New York City, where the majority of grants are awarded, the Foundation supports nonprofit organizations that concentrate on community development, education, and the arts.