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Sixth-grader solves playground problem

By Judy Reed

Principal Bill Cataldo, student Samuel Organ, and Director of Operations Ken Simon. Courtesy photo.

Some people overlook problems. Others see them but don’t know how to fix them. Others have the ability to see problems and a solution. Red Hawk sixth-grader Samuel Organ falls into the last category.

Samuel, the son of Timothy and Sharlene Organ, recently showed that ability when he went the extra mile to fix a problem on the playground.

According to his mom, Sharlene, and principal Bill Cataldo, Samuel noticed that while playing on the playground, many kids were not having much fun. He saw that the playground equipment had started breaking down. So he decided to do something about it.

One of Samuel’s drawings outlining repairs to playground equipment. Courtesy photo.

“He started drawing, making notes and taking measurements with a 12=inch ruler he borrowed from Ms. MacDonald,” explained Sharlene. “He noted the top area of the slide was cracked and broke. There was a hole in the bottom of the slide. Next to the slide there was a bar that you could hang on to get to the next one safely but that was broke. He started measuring the holes, cracks and missing bar. He said the ruler was really small but he took his time to get it right. After he was all done with his lists and drawings, he went inside to talk to the principal, Mr. Cataldo, about his ideas on how to fix it.”

Cataldo was impressed with Samuel’s initiative. “For him to take that type of interest in the welfare of other students, and to plan out the repairs and be thorough, is remarkable for a student his age. It was an honor to support his vision for that,” said Cataldo. 

Playground equipment being repaired. Courtesy photo.

Cataldo shared the plans with Ken Simon, Director of Operations. They showed Samuel the list of parts they ordered for the repairs, and then invited Samuel to see the playground equipment when it was repaired. Both Simon and Cataldo thanked Samuel for his drawings and measurements to help them fix the playground.

The school secretary, Jen Lewandowski, called Samuel’s mom to let her know what her son had been up to. “I had no clue,” said Sharlene. “It just warmed my heart and made me so proud of him. He has always had a big heart and is so thoughtful and creative. In the middle of a pandemic our son is just doing his best in school and trying to help make the school a safe place to play and also have fun. When I asked him about why he wanted to help fix the school playground he said, ‘I just wanted to do it because I felt like it was the right thing to do.’

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Ray Winnie
Intandem Credit Union


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