School looking for donations after playground arson

An elementary school that helps children in South Bend learn English is asking the community for help.

In August of 2013, police said two children were playing with a lighter at the playground at Harrison Primary when a fire erupted and an arson investigation ensued.

Principal Patty Karban said, “As you can see that we have a fence that is protecting part of our playground that is unsafe right now. So for us to be able to take down this fence and restore it, would mean a lot to this community.”

Karban said around 650 students go to Harrison Primary Center and they are sharing two other small playgrounds during recess.

Karban said, “Insurance covered a portion of it, but just to take out what was damaged, is what was covered.”

Joseph Mcleod and his fellow third graders all agreed that the damaged playground looks sad.

Mcleod said, “If people donate money, people would be more happy and not sad. Because we can't play on the playground anymore.”

On May 1st the school is holding a fundraiser but the tickets are sold out. Karban said they've raised $4,000 but they need $11,000 to fix the playground.

Karban said, “I think anytime there's something traumatic or something where everyone sees their community set on fire, or vandalized that everyone is emotional about that!”

If you would like to donate to help rebuild the playground, you can call the school for more information at 574-289-2896.

The school is also looking for donated gift baskets that they can auction at their fundraiser.
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