Sunnybeam School is one of the Island’s oldest and most beloved preschools. The preschool has been operating on the Island for more than 60 years and was one of the original school houses on the Island built in 1918. Since then, the school has served generations of Mercer Island families.
Now, Mercer Island families have the opportunity to commemorate some of their memories with Sunnybeam School. As part of this summer’s playground renovation, the school is replacing large areas of gravel with engravable pavers.
A major component in Sunnybeam School’s curriculum is learning through play — especially outdoors.
“We really want the kids to get outside and play and learn naturally,” Sunnybeam School director Liz Carson said. “We let kids be kids.”
To keep that value, the school hopes to ensure their outside play area is the best it can be for its students.
“We’ve had the gravel for a while and it’s time we change it,” Carson said. “It’s messy, it gets everywhere and it’s just time for something different.”
Knowing they were needing a playground remodel, Carson said the school wanted to find a way to pay for the remodel and also get the community involved. That’s when they came up with the idea of the Legacy Bricks.
The Legacy Bricks will be used for a path which will begin at the back steps of the schoolhouse and will continue to the exterior door on the north side of the school. The bricks offer a chance for community members to leave a family name, children’s names, a favorite teacher’s name or a personal message on the path for years to come.
“I think it’s a great way for parents and grandparents to commemorate some of their first and best memories,” Carson said. “I love this school — my kids went here and I want them to be able to come back and remember those memories.”
All proceeds will be used to help fund Sunnybeam School’s playground renovation. If Legacy Brick sales over-fund the renovation, any additional funds will go toward other areas of the school.
“We wanted people who have any connection to the school to leave a legacy here,” Carson said. “I think the bricks will show the kids the history of this school, and it’ll continue that tradition.”
Each brick costs $150 and must be purchased by May 31. The bricks can be purchased online through the school’s website (www.sunnybeamschool.org).