School receives $10k grant from KIND Foundation for East Side playground

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- A state of the art playground planned for Buffalo’s East Side is moving forward. The Universal School hopes to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony this summer.

The Universal School, located at Jami Mosque on Genesee St., wants to build an innovative playground with a large rubber mat on the bottom, a jungle gym, swings and riding animals. It would be open to the public after school hours.

“This project is really about enhancing the lives of people who really need it,” said Akram Shibly, the founder of True Intent Productions, which helped launch the video campaign. “It will give the children and the families an opportunity to come together to play, to develop socially and cognitively, really just be a beacon of hope for the community.”

The community has now donated $65,000 to make the playground happen. Last week, the KIND Foundation announced it would give the project a $10,000 grant.

KIND makes popular snacks and granola bars.

The Universal School applied for the grant but had to compete with other projects across the country to win the money. More than 2,500 people voted for the grant to be awarded to the Universal School.

They plan to use part of the grant to pay for playground equipment. Another portion of the grant will be used to make “play kits” for the children who attend the ribbon cutting. The kits will include useful summer items like water bottles, hats, books, or a t-shirt.

The KIND Foundation Director, Dana Rosenberg, sent this statement to News 4, “The KIND Foundation is excited to announce Universal School as this month’s KIND Causes grant recipient.  Universal School is committed to ensuring that children have a safe space to play, learn and connect with one another.  Each month, our community determines the KIND Causes grant recipient by committing to a kind act in their own life. It is our belief that Universal School was this month’s winner given that each of us can relate to the importance of creating an environment for kids to be creative, active and healthy.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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