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RRE raises money for new playground

Students in Lisa Courtright’s third grade class at Roxboro Road Elementary in Mattydale hold a jar in which the school is collecting change for its playground fundraising campaign. The campaign is called “Pennies for the Playground.” From left are Tahjzaya Quinones, Caleb Gelo, Charles French and Annelisa Farley.

Students in Lisa Courtright’s third grade class at Roxboro Road Elementary in Mattydale hold a jar in which the school is collecting change for its playground fundraising campaign. The campaign is called “Pennies for the Playground.” From left are Tahjzaya Quinones, Caleb Gelo, Charles French and Annelisa Farley. Lisa Courtright

— The new playground would also be in line with New York state’s Common Core standards for physical education. Courtright said the committee hopes to center the new structure around a larger climbing structure with several slides, suitable for kids ages 5 through 12. Other additions will include climbing obstacles, balance beams, parallel bars, pull-up bars and more to encourage exercise and fitness.

In addition, the committee wants the equipment to be handicapped-accessible to accommodate RRE’s special needs students.

“Several special needs products would also like to be included to allow our special friends to have sensory exploration, motion play and inclusive play,” Courtright said. “By providing these opportunities our special class students can continue to develop their skills and agility.”

But that dream playground doesn’t come cheap. Courtright said the costs are almost prohibitive.

“When we first began this project we found that the cost of building a dream playground would be much more than we anticipated,” she said. “Despite our constant fundraising efforts, most of the products we have researched would not be possible for many years to come. So, at this point we would like to raise at least $35,000 to $50,000 to establish a new playground. Then, fundraising efforts will continue to add additional pieces every few years and to update the existing playground.”

Those fundraising efforts are comprised of several different measures. Courtright, PTG member Tammy Ryan and former PTG member and resource teacher Jeanelle Cross organized the following fundraisers:

Pennies for the Playground. The PTG came up with this idea last summer as a way to provide a simple fundraiser that could be carried out throughout the school year.

“The group decided that this easy fundraiser would be a simple one that all students could participate in despite their economic situations,” Courtright said. “By bringing in any loose change during the school year our students can feel included and a part of the playground building process. RRE students and families can add change to our playground fund jugs located in our main office and in our main foyer during the school day and at various school wide events. Additional penny collection jugs may also be placed at some of the local businesses near RRE to ask the community to become involved in this project.

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