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NE Elementary PTO works to replace playground equipment

By By Kelly Quackenbush/The Meridian Star
March 30, 2001
Students at Northeast Lauderdale Elementary School will soon have new playground equipment, thanks to the fund-raising efforts of the school's PTO.
The old playground equipment was removed last spring at the urging of the school's insurance company. After having served students for more than 25 years, the swings were rusted, the bars were rotting and new equipment was needed.
"The playground got to the point where the children would play on the monkey bars and paint chips would come off on their hands. Some of the bars for the swings did not even connect anymore," said Machelle Matthews, an organizer for the fund-raisers and the mother of three daughters at Northeast.
The new equipment arrived at the school Tuesday.
Fifty parents have volunteered to put the equipment together Saturday. They will be assisted by Naval Air Station Meridian volunteers and teachers from Northeast. The PTO is hoping the playground will be finished by Saturday night and the students may begin using it on Monday.
The new playground equipment is being paid for by $25,000 raised by PTO fund-raisers and the school district's contribution of $10,000.
The PTO fund-raisers have included coin drops, selling popcorn and candy and money from the fall carnival and the book fair. All of the classes at Northeast are still raising money, and the class that raises the most money will make their teacher kiss a pig.
"I am really excited to have a new playground to play on," said Alexis Galistel, a first grader.
"I have missed the monkey bars," said Jamie Matthews, a kindergartner. "All the daddies and mommies will build the playground Saturday."
The PTO has spent its budget on the equipment and is still trying to raise enough money to cover the expenses.
The Coca-Cola Co. is providing beverages to the volunteers. The PTO is still looking for volunteers for Saturday. Tools or food donations are welcomed. If you would like to donate services or food, call Machelle Matthews at 938-6807.
Kelly Quackenbush is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at kquackenbush@themeridianstar.com.

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