Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Senator Mayer Announce $250,000 for Robert C. Dodson School Playground

Shelley B. Mayer

September 22, 2022

Watch the full press conference.

(Yonkers, NY) – New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and State Senate Senator Shelley B. Mayer today announced $250,000 in state funding for new playground equipment and safety surfacing at the Robert C. Dodson School with Yonkers Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada and members of the Yonkers Public Schools community. 

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said: Today is an exciting moment for the Robert C. Dodson School, as well as the surrounding area. Playgrounds are at the heart of our local school communities, and I know the new playground at the Dodson School will provide children with a safe and fun place to play, as well as a space to create life-long relationships with their peers. Thank you to Dr. Quezada for always advocating, and to Senator Mayer, our Senate Education Chair, for making funding this playground a priority.”

Senator Shelley B. Mayer said: “Thank you to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for allocating this funding to the Dodson School, and to Dr. Edwin Quezada and the Yonkers Public Schools community for being excellent partners in this effort. As a Yonkers Public School student who attended junior high at this school in the 1960s, I was especially proud to advocate for the playground funding. Not only will it be a place for our students to explore and create lasting memories during the day, it will also provide a safe recreational outlet for the surrounding community after hours.”

The grant was secured through the State and Municipal Facilities Program (SAM). The new playground area, which will be lined with poured-in-place safety surfacing, will feature two playground structures complete with slides, somersault bars, fireman’s poles, bridges, binoculars, a labyrinth panel and a megaphone, as well as stand alone balancing, spinning and climbing structures. Each element is designed to allow children to explore and develop their physical, cognitive, social-emotional and creative abilities. 

Serving students grades Pre-K - 8, the Dodson School works collaboratively with parents and the community to promote lifelong learning, academic excellence, intellectual curiosity, creativity and respect, which enables its students to become productive citizens in the future. 

Yonkers Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada said: “When you watch young children on a playground the joy is palpable. The socialization and gross motor skills learned while playing are essential components of early childhood education. Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Senator Mayer clearly understand the importance of playtime in a safe space with equipment that is accessible to children with multiple needs.”

Yonkers Board of Education President Rev. Steve Lopez said: “The Trustees appreciate and respect the relentless work of our Senators to secure funding for Yonkers Public Schools. The restoration of the Dodson playground is another tangible example of Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Senator Mayer commitment to quality education and the Yonkers community.” 

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said: “Positive investments in our schools continue with the unwavering support from our State Senators, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Senator Mayer. Working with Yonkers Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Quezada and our Board Trustees, together we are providing a more well-rounded experience for our students and families. Congrats to all on making this playground a reality!”

Yonkers Federation of Teachers President and NYSUT Board Director Samantha Rosado-Ciriello said: “Schools are the center of our community. In addition to being a place to learn, schools provide spaces for the community to come together. Building a playground not only serves the students, but the entire community at large. At a time when it is needed the most, this new playground will contribute to the physical and mental well being of all who will use it. The Yonkers Federation of Teachers is thankful to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Senate Education Committee Chair Shelley Mayer for this state funding and their unwavering support of our schools and communities.”