MILLEDGEVILLE — Midway Elementary School was recently awarded a $5,000 grant by the Plum Creek Foundation to help in the construction of a new school playground for the community, students and educators to utilize as a safe learning space.
“Midway plans to use the funds to build a new school playground,” Midway Principal Antonio Ingram said. “The existing playground is outdated and hasn’t been replaced since 1993.”
According to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia has the second highest childhood obesity rate in the United States, and nearly 40 percent of Georgia’s children are overweight or obese. When the new playground is complete, Midway’s more than 500 students will receive at least 30 minutes a day of free play, as well as opportunities to learn about health and safety using the new equipment.
“With this grant, the community will be able to use the playground on the weekends. The students will also utilize the playground for exercise,” Ingram said. “With this grant, the students will maintain a clean playground area by periodic cleaning campaigns along with watering the neighboring trees.”
The total cost of the new 55 by 40 foot playground is around $30,000. With the completion of three school-wide fundraisers as of March, Midway has raised more than $15,000 for the playground project. Upcoming school fundraisers will continue to fund the project until Midway reaches its goal.
“The monies received from this project will be added into the exiting funds. We hope to have enough funds by the end of 2013,” Ingram said. “If we profit as much as the previous fundraisers, Midway will have enough funds to purchase a new playground.”
The school will sell small gift items, home decor and cookie dough during a fall fundraiser slated Aug.14 through Aug. 31.
“We would like to express our gratitude on behalf of our parents, students and the community for helping to reach our goal in getting a new playground,” Ingram said.
Plum Creek is one of the largest landowners in the nation and the most geographically diverse, with approximately 6.4 million acres of timberlands in major timber-producing regions of the United States and wood products manufacturing facilities in the northwest. The Plum Creek Foundation supports nonprofit organizations that improve the overall quality of life in the communities where Plum Creek operates.
“Midway Elementary School is tackling the childhood obesity problem head-on by allowing more opportunities for physical play,” said David Torbert, senior forester for Plum Creek in Georgia. “Plum Creek is proud to support efforts to provide safe, inspiring ways for children to stay active and healthy, which are the starting point of a lifetime of similar behaviors.”
To donate funds for the Midway playground project, call Ingram at 478-457-2440. For more information about the Plum Creek Foundation’s grant program, visit www.plumcreek.com.
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