We need your help!

Our Plan: Relocate and improve the play area designed for our youngest students (preschool through kindergarten).

Years ago, for safety purposes, a segregated play area for our preschool students was placed behind our school building.

Now that a fence helps protect our play area, we will be MOVING the preschool to the area near the existing play area and REPLACING all of the play equipment with a new high-quality apparatus from one of the nation’s leading supplier of play equipment, designed to last for many decades.

Our Goal: Raise $42,500 to supplement an HFL grant that will:

  • Provide a larger and more accessible play area for our students and community (the play area will be available outside of school hours to our neighbors).
  • Separate the play area (by means of a picket fence) from the existing play area designated for older children.

For a slide show and more information about making a pledge visit:

Q. What is the size and scope of the project?

A. Once we raise sufficient funds, a 1,000-square-foot (25′ x 40′) play area will be placed on the north side of the green space (next to the chain link fence along the parking lot, near the existing playground) separated from the play areas for older students by means of a picket fence.

Q. Who is installing the play equipment and picket fence?

A. The equipment will be purchased from Landscape Structures, Inc. but installed by volunteers from St. John’s. A church member is providing the excavation and Chuck Gardiner, a representative from NuToys Leisure Products, (who is also a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Munster) will provide some technical guidance.

Q. Isn’t this covered by tuition and scholarships?

Or by St. John’s Lutheran Church? A. All of our tuition and scholarship funds cover personnel costs (about 85%), text books, utilities, technology devices and some repair costs. St. John’s Lutheran Church helps subsidize these costs by providing more than $100,000 in scholarships annually PLUS at least $50,000 each year in capital repairs and improvements.

Q. How will funds from the Health Foundation of La Porte (HFL) be used?

A. It depends on how many funds we raise! A $24,000 grant from HFL would be sufficient for a small play area and apparatus if we use pine bark mulch. The planning team wants to make use of a EPDM rubber base to provide superior protection from falls. The PlayBound Rubber Pour-in-Place playground surfacing can also be used immediately after a rain storm.

Q. Who can use the play area?

A. A fence helps to segregate the area from one used by older children, but is available to any community member when school is not in session and when our Eagle Care isn’t using the area.

Q. What is the timetable for the project?

A. The stipulation of the HFL Grant is that the project will be substantially complete by June 30, 2024. In order to meet this deadline we need to order equipment by February 29, 2024.

Q. How much do I have to donate?

A. Every donation … from $25 to $5,000 … or even more … is helpful to reach our goal of $42,500.

Q. How do the pledge cards work?

A. Individual components of the play apparatus have been itemized and are available for “adoption” by one or more donors. The total budget for each item has been divided into more manageable amounts ranging from $150 to $1,250. So that sufficient funds can be available to pay the invoice when the equipment arrives, plan to pay your pledge by May 31, 2024. (If you need to make other arrangements, please speak with the school office.)

Q. What if we want to give MORE?

A. Simply take MORE THAN ONE pledge card from the group of cards for that particular item. For example: ONE donor could provide $2,500 to cover the cost of the DOUBLE SLIDE. That donor would take all five “DOUBLE SLIDE” Pledge Cards. Another group of five friends could get together and each donate $250 to cover the cost of the LOOP LADDER.

Q. What is the difference between the items marked GREEN and GOLD?

A. The “green” represent equipment that is a part of the “basic” package of equipment. The “gold” items are an expansion of the play area and apparatus.

Q. What if we don’t raise enough money?

A. We can adjust the design or size of the play area or even delay the installation of one or more components. However, the play area as it is currently designed is the BEST option for our preschool, preK and kindergarten students.

Q. Are we planning any fundraising events?

A. Plan now to participate in the “Give Back Day” at Culvers on Pine Lake Ave. scheduled for Monday, February 12. Net proceeds from the sale of St. John’s “swag” and clothing will also be used to offset the costs of the play area.

Q. Who has to approve the final design and scope of the project?

A. Three of our ministry boards will review and approve the final project.

  • The School Board will review the final recommendation to make sure it is consistent with our school’s longer-term strategic plan.
  • The Board of Trustees are responsible for our facilities and grounds and must approve any permanent improvement to the property.
  • Any major project is also reviewed by our Governing Board (which includes representatives from the School Board and Trustees).

As a member congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, any gift to St. John’s is designated as tax deductible by Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS? Contact the school office, (219) 362-6692 or email


All pledges and gifts are pending final project approval by appropriate leaders and boards as well as raising all of the funds necessary to complete the project as designed. If a re-design is necessary, donors and sponsors will be consulted before any funds are re-directed to cover the cost of other items. All donations will support the project to relocate and improve the play area designated for children from 2-years-old through kindergarten.
Unless other arrangements are made, pledges must be fulfilled by May 31, 2024. Gifts can be made via cash, check, Paypal, Credit Card or ACH transfer. For details contact the St. John’s School Office.

For a slide show and more information about making a pledge visit: