Metro students save pennies to buy new playground - WSMV News 4

Metro students save pennies to buy new playground

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A Nashville school that couldn't afford a new playground finally got a new one Thursday after saving thousands of pennies.

For at least the last five years, the playground at Lakeview Elementary Design Center was in such poor shape, it made even the principal depressed.

Nine-hundred kids had nothing to do.

"It just was really sad, watching the kids play just chasing each other around," said Dr. Robin Shumate, principal at Lakeview.

The old playground had been on campus since the school opened in 1967. Its equipment was so outdated, most of it had to be removed because it wasn't up to code.

And to make matters worse, the school couldn't get funding to build a new one.

"We tried grants. We tried all different things, but just didn't get any feedback from things like that. So we had to do it ourselves," Shumate said.

The school decided to nickel and dime their way to an upgrade, literally.

"We had penny drives, we had nickels and dimes, we had days for dollars and days for quarters," Shumate said.

It took passion, planning, a lot of patience and teamwork - the principal even took a pie to the face for donations - but three years since they started saving, students finally ran onto their two new playgrounds Thursday.

"Just turning the corner to come to school, it really just tugs at my heart strings," Shumate said.

The school raised nearly $42,000, including about $12,000 in additional donations. They said that money will go toward buying a new swingset.

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