SOUTH BELOIT - Prairie Hill Elementary School is launching a fundraising effort to replace its aging playground equipment and is calling upon the community for help.
The old playground equipment will be donated for use by children in third world countries.
Paraeducator and Parent Staff Association (PSA) President Kerriann Passmore said everyone would benefit from a new playground at Prairie Hill.
"This is South Beloit Prairie Hill park. Everyone in this area uses this as a park and it's open to the public during the summer or when students aren't out there at recess," she said.
Replacing the playground equipment has been one of Passmore's main goals on the PSA. The equipment is outdated and the steps already need to be replaced. It's also becoming increasingly difficult to find replacement parts and the set could become unsafe.
With the school having more littler ones due to growth in the area, she said it's important they have ample places to play. The current playground set is designed for older children and the smaller ones can't get up the slides or up to the monkey bars. The new set would accommodate both younger and older students. Before it would be installed, the Rockford-based Kids Around the World will remove the structure and ship it to a third world country.
Prairie Hill started obtaining dollars from extra funds made from its fundraisers such as its jog-a-thon, carnation donation, candy grams, bowling for books, my hero dance, and family dinner nights at various restaurants.
All that is needed to obtain the new set - and get the old set shipped off to help other kids in another country - is $20,000 more to purchase a $50,000 new set. Once it arrives, volunteers will help build it.
The PSA is working with is working with Jack's Tire Sales & Service and Love's Travel Stop for donations. It has also received many anonymous donations. Passmore's next step will be knocking on doors at areas businesses to ask for donations.
"We need to fill in that $20,000 gap. The goal is to order it by June, to be installed in August so it will be here on the first day of school," Passmore said. She said it will be a special moment when the children can finally climb on the new equipment and see that all their fundraising and hard work paid off.
People can make donations via the school's website at www.phspsa.org. People also can mail donations to PHS playground fund at PHS 14714 Willowbrook Road, South Beloit, IL 61080.
For more information on Kids Around the World, visit http://www.katw.net.