Henrico Co. elementary school raising money for more inclusive playground

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Gayton Elementary School PTA is raising money to build a more inclusive playground for kids of all ages and abilities.

8News reporter Tracey Smith explains how they have received both student and community participation

Thursday marked a big milestone at Gayton Elementary.

They reached their goal of raising $30,000 before tomorrow’s fun run here at the school.

And while they are excited to meet that goal, they know there is still a long journey ahead of them.

“Is our journey over?” PTA member and playground committee member Alice Land said. “No, we have a long way to go, but I have a lot of faith in this crew that are coming along in the ride with us that we can get it done.”

Gayton Elementary’s PTA is working toward a $150,000 goal. Since they started the process almost a year ago, they’ve received nearly half of that through online donations and corporate sponsorships.

“As soon as we raise the money, I want to incrementally make improvements out here on this playground,” Land said.

She said the idea for new equipment came directly from the kids who wanted upgrades to the aging playground, something the school system simply can’t budget for.

The campaign is called Play for All, something that targets all ages and all abilities.

“We have students that have some physical challenges, some sensory needs,” Land said. “We wanted options here that will engage and be fun for those students. We also want great options for our older students who today have very little equipment available.”

This week, they installed new swings for the older kids. They said while the phases are planned, every parent, teacher and student has a voice in the decision.

“This is not my playground. This is our playground,” Land said. “So I would really like for us to decide what we want to spend our money on as we go.”

If you would like to help out with the playground, you can get more information on the Gayton PTA’s website or you can donate here.

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