NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – First graders in Queens have used the power of their words to make a positive change at their school. The young students first convinced their principal, then a city councilman, and finally the Queens Borough president that their playground needed an upgrade.

“Our class would really like a playground in the big yard,” the letter from a class of 14 first graders at P.S. 186 Castlewood School read.

“If we had a playground it would be more fun,” the letter continued. “For example we can have swings, slides, and rock climbing… can you think about our request? Thank you!”

The Castlewood playground currently has just a few basketball hoops but no equipment for young children. Luckily, their letter got into the right hands. The school’s principal passed it along to Councilman Barry Grodenchik who is allocating $600,000 to building the class’s dream park.

Borough president Melinda Katz is providing another $2.5 million to upgrade the playground alongside the school as well. Since it’s a city park, the entire neighborhood will reap the benefits of the children’s letter.

“They learned the word legacy so they know this is gonna last far beyond their years at Castlewood,” Dr. Melissa Haidary, the school’s principal told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis.

When asked what the first graders learned by doing this assignment, student Elad Hacohen replied, “even if kids are small they can still do big stuff.”


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