Friends of Pritzker School plan a new playground as founder K. C. MacQueen exits Illinois

Date: 
06/03/2010
MacQueen

K. C. MacQueen is with her mother-in-law Patricia MacQueen (l) at the 2010 Birdhouse event.

Great success at the 2010 Birdhouse event, a master plan for the Pritzker School playground and money in the bank to begin a Pre K-Kindergarten playground puts Friends of Pritzker School (FPO) on a productive road to more successes as their founder K. C. MacQueen exits Illinois.

FPO's first goal was to Increase enrollment in Pritzker from among neighborhood families . The biggest impact on that goal was the addition of the Pre School for All program.  The next FPO goal is to turn the 62,500 sq. ft. fenced in asphalt parking and play area into a green magical, fun, safe environment where learning can be enhanced.

A 3,450 sq. ft. playground area for kindergarten and pre-K is step one. The vision for the kindergarten space is for outdoor arts, exploration and imagination space with a stage for impromptu playground performances, Plexiglas easels for painting, a sandbox for digging and exploring, and creative equipment for imaginative play.

FPOMasterPlan

Master Plan boards were displayed at the Birdhouse event.

Working with Wicker Park resident Brian Culliton of Culliton Quinn, landscape architects, who is donating the firms' time to the design of the project, a master plan has been developed  for  the space.  This permits the group to develop a realistic budget. To date they are estimating that the kindergarten playground will require approximately a $90,000 investment.  Much of that cost is due to the soft surface required in the space.

JDonLadder

Julie Dickinson gives instructions to the attendees at the Birdhouse fund raiser.

According to Julie Dickinson, current FPO President, "The city is seriously considering matching our funds with Impact Fee Funds for up to $32,000. Impact fees are one-time charges to developers that are used to offset the city's capital costs resulting from new development."  To date the group has raised approximately $45,000.  The Do Division Family Fun Fest is one of the additional fund raisers scheduled to add to their bank account.

FPO and its achievements are made possible by many but the leadership was in the hands of K. C. McQueen.  She spearheaded the Pre School for All program and the formation of Friends of Pritzker School in which she served as its President until this April.

The passion which has driven her is evident when you hear her say, "Parents are the most important factor in a child's education. It results in a child's desire to learn. Parents' involvement with the education and schools make great things happen."

On the heels of a second successful birdhouse themed fund raiser, putting off their move until after the event, MacQueen and her family, husband Matt and twins Angus and Will, are California bound. Matt is being transferred to another Motorola office in the Bay Area.

"K.C. was an advocate of sweat labor and demonstrated having the children's best interests at the core of her actions. She is welcome back at Pritzker any time and the Pritzker Wild Cats will forever have a warm spot in their hearts for her," stated Dr. Reese, Pritzker's principal.

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