3 Hamilton students saw a need at their park, so they got help from Riverview staff and 17Strong

Three sixth-grade students from Riverview Elementary saw a need in their community and did something about it.

In Jefferson Park in the Jefferson neighborhood, it was noticed there was no place to sit. So with the help of the staff at Riverview Elementary, they landed a 17Strong nano-grant to have three picnic tables constructed: two adult-sized and one kid-sized.

“It is awesome to get to see this project through because these kids actually identified a problem that we had here, which was there’s no seating,” said Riverview Elementary Principal Josh Margerum. “They get to see this for years to come, and obviously, tell their friends and their community that they were a part of it.”

There was a dedication ceremony on Thursday for the tables.

Sixth-grader Carla Andres said the goal was to have more families gather at the park and “have somewhere to sit and a place to enjoy at the park.”

It was also to add some more color to the park along with giving some place where families can relax, said sixth-grader Isaiah Anderson. This also made his grandfather smile, he said.

“My papa is a part of 17Strong, too, so he was really excited and proud of me,” Anderson said.

Yolin Martinez Rivera was the third sixty-grade student involved, but he was not able to attend Thursday’s dedication event.

Margerum said this 17Strong project was really a community effort.

“Not only did we have 17Strong partnering with us, but we had the city and (Parks Conservancy Executive Director) Adam Cornett partnering with us,” he said. “We also had the high school partnering with us. And the students and teachers painted these, so it really was a community effort to get these things in.”

The Hamilton High School carpentry class that helped led by teacher Tim Carpenter.

Eventually, cement will be poured under the tables.

As the teachers and students painted the tables, the kids also put their marks ― specifically their handprints ― under the tables. They said they liked painting the tables, and Andres said it was also “a little messy,” which added to the fun.

And putting his handprint on the table, Anderson said, “It’s heartwarming to know that I’m’ going to be part of this park forever.”

About the Authors