Planning for More Play at Meadowview Elementary
The school’s PTO raised $15,000 for the first phase of the school’s playground project and looks forward to more equipment this summer.
Children at Meadowview Elementary School are looking forward to next summer when the last phase of a two-year playground improvement project is completed.
The school's parent-teacher organization has raised $15,000 so far to pay for the first phase of the project, which was completed last summer.
Meadowview PTO President Deann Mercado said the project was necessary because the equipment was old and out-of-date.
"It's been 20 years since new equipment was installed. What we had wasn't age appropriate and it wasn't up to code,” she said.
The playground at Meadowview is well-used, with more than 400 students at the school plus other children from the community who visit.
"It's a high-traffic playground," Mercado said. "It's very active on the weekends and after school."
The PTO is trying to raise another $22,000 by next summer for the second and last phase of the project. The group will raise funds over and above their usual budget, continuing its current donations to the school, in addition to the playground project.
The organization provides funds to the school for technology in the classrooms, classroom and teacher supplies, busing for field trips and special requests.
A variety of activities help raise money, including bake sales and fundraisers at restaurants like Culver's, Cousins and Buffalo Wild Wings, Mercado said.
However, the majority of what the PTO raises comes from its spring auction, which last year raised $10,000.
"We try not to do too many sales, but it's inevitable when you have a project this size," Mercado said.
In addition to some new equipment, this summer the PTO also painted the equipment being kept.
"What we didn't replace, we spray painted. We tried to stretch our dollars," Mercado said. The PTO also chose bold, bright, kid-friendly primary colors for the equipment.
The new equipment for next year will include strength-building equipment at the request of the school's physical education teacher, to help children develop upper body strength.
The children are looking forward to playing on the new playground.
“They will be thrilled to see it go in," Mercado said. "A lot of the fifth graders are disappointed they won't be at the school when it's done."