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Pepsi has granted yet another Genesee County School $50,000 towards a new playgound. Pembroke Intermediate School has placed first out of 382 project proposals across the nation. 

For the month of May, Pembroke Intermediate School accumulated the most votes overall of the competing projects nationwide, winning a $50,000 grant from Pepsi Refresh.

Pembroke Principal Matthew Calderon is proud to receive the grant, and plans to build a new playground for the intermediate school are underway.

Calderon states, "At the intermediate school we don't even have a playground, I've been the principal here for eight years, and years before I got here there was no playground,  so our kids haven't benefited from that." 

The Pembroke Parents School and Home Association plans to pursue additional grants for the playground.

Pembroke followed the lead of other winning Genesee County schools Robert Morris and Byron-Bergen Elementary.

Robert Morris of Batavia plans to build the playground June 16th-18th, and celebrate the week of the 20th. The goal of finishing the project before the completion of the year is so fifth grade students can participate in the celebration before moving up to middle school.

Robert Morris Elementary Principal Diane Bonarigo states, "Our fifth graders...were just as involved as our kindergarteners and our first graders.

"It's very important that they are a part of this so that we have a chance to celebrate the playground before school is out."

Byron-Bergen Elementary has plans to begin their build in mid-August. The unexpected and unfortunate tornadoes in the South have pushed the build back, because the Alabama-based playground manufacturer was sadly affected by the weather.

Byron-Bergen Elementary Principal Keith Wing understands the cause of delay and states, "We are really excited about this playground because it is going to be a safe, handicap-accessible playground with more activities for students."

Wing adds that a firetruck-themed jungle gym has been incorporated into the design. "It is a tribute to our local emergency units that have done so much for this community," he says.

Community efforts and the Pepsi Refresh project have made these grants possible. Robert Morris and Byron-Bergen welcome volunteers to help build.

Artists's rendering of new Byron-Bergen playground, inset. Courtesy Keith Wing

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