The playground at Hiddenite Elementary in North Carolina was built in the 1960’s, and principal Rene Stilwell knew an upgrade was desperately needed. “It was old and rusty, and we noticed students were getting hurt on it a lot,” she said. For four years, Hiddenite struggled to generate funds for a new playground.
Then, last fall, Lowe’s challenged teachers and students across the United States to write a letter to Lowe’s highlighting critical needs at their school and ideas for how $25,000 could help address those needs. Callie Logan, a fourth-grader at Hiddenite, wrote a letter describing cracked slides and the need for handicap-accessible equipment and benches for students. Of nearly 4,000 responses, her letter helped Hiddenite become one of four schools to earn a $25,000 Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant. “I cried at first,” Stilwell said. “Most of these students don’t have much, and so I think this was something that they really, truly deserved.”