Harlem, NY — Harlem Success Academy Charter School (HSA) is the foundation of Success Charter Network, Inc. Although the majority of the students attending the Academy come from disadvantaged families, you wouldn’t know by their test scores. These students have consistently achieved some of the highest test scores in the state. The Academy offers a unique, tuition-free, multidisciplinary, college-focused education primarily to the families mainly residing in upper Manhattan, the South Bronx and Brooklyn.
When Harlem Success Academy Charter School received federal funding for a playground makeover, they chose SYNLawn to provide a multi-purpose athletic field as a central focus. This field was able to enhance the elementary athletic program in addition to directly supporting Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” Program.
The team at Peter Gluck and Partners chose SYNLawn’s SYNPlay to construct the field. The SYNPlay solution offers a 100% nylon artificial grass product with an 8mm foam pad that provides a great playing field that absorbs shock and protects from injuries. Although the team’s motive for choosing SYNPlay was solution-based for the school, this also contributed to a larger scale initiative.
A new and unique partnership has been formed between SYNLawn and the United Soybean Board (USB). Now purchasing the Class 1 recyclable plastic bottles from waste streams, converting them into a non-woven fleece material used to manufacture high performance backing for certain synthetic turf products, SYNPLay being one. This partnership creates and protects jobs for the American work force, helps National Parks meet recycling goals, and provides SYNLawn with products made better through recycling and reuse efforts, and helps to lower the environmental impact of discarded plastic bottles. According to the EPA, recycling one ton of plastic drinking bottles saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space. Additionally, 12,000 BTUs are saved for every pound recycled.
The true success of this program is that it has solved many of the issues the school has dealt with in the past. The students can now enjoy the advantage of playing outside immediately after it rains without grass stains, mud stains or allergenic concerns, while the school administration will be taking advantage of lower maintenance costs, which results in greater savings for the school. The beautification to the corner of 127th and Lexington just stepped into the 21st century with SYNLawn’s help and the community is sharing in the excitement on many levels. Kids, parents and taxpayers alike could be heard cheering on the SYNLawn team for a job well done.
About Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” Program
Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady, dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. Combining comprehensive strategies with common sense, “Let’s Move!” is about putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years. Giving parents helpful information and fostering environments that support healthy choices. Providing healthier foods in our schools. Ensuring that every family has access to healthy, affordable food. And, helping kids become more physically active.
Everyone has a role to play in reducing childhood obesity, including parents, elected officials from all levels of government, schools, health care professionals, faith-based and community-based organizations, and private sector companies. Your involvement is key to ensuring a healthy future for our children.
For more information about the “Let’s Move!” Program, visit www.letsmove.gov