East Elementary purchases playground equipment

By JOSH NICHOLS
Daily Press writer
Flippopotamus: a three chute slide installed on a local playground, meant for fun and funded by kind people.
Although the fancy slide with a fancy name may not mean a lot to many Craig residents, students at East Elementary cherish the piece of equipment and parents and teachers are working hard to purchase more funny named add-ons for the school.
It's important that students have fun on the playground, yet be safe at the same time, said Guy Gladden, East Elementary School principal.
Which is why the school is working to add new, safe equipment to its playground.
Last Friday the school started its annual candle sale. Money raised from the sale will benefit the purchase of additional, updated playground equipment.
Andrea Camp, president of the parent advisory committee, said she hoped this year's fund-raiser would enable the school to put the finishing touches on a playground improvement project that has been underway for a couple of years.
This is the fourth year of the candle fund-raiser, and a major portion of the money has been used to purchase new equipment the past few years, she said.
Just last month, the Flippopotamus, was installed at the playground. Funding for the slide came from last year's candle sales as well as donations from businesses in the community.
The year before, the school was able to purchase a new piece via $10,000 from the school district in addition to fund-raising money.
"We're kind of hoping to make enough money to complete this project with the addition of one more piece," Camp said. "We'll have a really nice variety with one more addition."
Gladden said the sturdy, multi-colored equipment is expensive, but worth the cost.
"Some of the stuff costs over $5,000, but a lot of it will out last me," he said. "This is some really sturdy equipment."
The equipment that has already been purchased has been strategically placed on the playground, because new pieces can be added onto the structures already in place.
The playground looks nicer and the students are enjoying it, Gladden said.
"Little by little the place has really transformed in the past couple of years and it's mainly due to the parent advisory committee," he said. "The parents have done a great job."
Last year the school was able to raise $7,000 through candle sales, and was able to purchase equipment with the help of additional donations from local businesses. This year's candle sales will last through Oct. 19.

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