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How to build a new playground at your school

Is your school's play structure worn out, even dangerous. Here's a step-by-step guide for creating a play space so dazzling even the coolest fifth graders will come out and play.

By Valle Dwight

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Calling all parents!

Start by talking with your school’s administrators to get their support. The project may require school board approval, depending on the district. Next, recruit parent volunteers. Start now by sharing this article with five friends or teachers who you want to join your cause. Stowe made a presentation at her school’s fall picnic and passed around a sign-up sheet. You can also get the word out through your school's parent group, list serve, school newsletter, or just by calling other parents.

Twelve parents volunteered for Stowe's playground project. The group began meeting every two weeks and broke into three subgroups: a design group (to design the playground), a fundraising group, and a site group (to prepare the site and oversee installation). Their goal was ambitious: to raise $50,000 and complete the playground renovation by the end of the school year.

Valle Dwight is a reporter, writer, and mother of two school-aged boys. She has written for many magazines, including FamilyFun, Wondertime, and Working Mother.