Frederick_Frederick Elementary School now has more than only a barren field where its 200 kids can play. Volunteers - including members of the Frederick Fire Department - installed new playground equipment on Wednesday, including a large structure with slides and benches. Community leaders began raising money last November, and then parents, children, and community members pooled their nickels and dimes. Two months later, the school had collected about $60,000 - enough to build a first-class playground.
Parents and school officials say they were concerned about the children's health, and didn't think having their kids play in an old, empty field was good for them. On Wednesday morning, the field was pretty barren with only a few swing sets and a basketball court. By later afternoon, volunteers were filling in holes with cement.
When the playground is complete, the children will play on modern swings, slides, and more for during recess, including Casen Walker. "There's gonna be the wave...this basketball shooting thingy-bopper," he said.
Frederick School Superintendent Tony O'Brien says there will be a lot of different equipment. "Our kids need toys to keep them busy and keep them out of trouble," he said. "Healthy Students is such a big issue right now." He says kids also have noticed the lack of activities to participate in. "...not having anything to do but stare at each other," he said.
Firefighter Jerry Abbott's daughter is four years old, and he says he hopes the playground equipment will help her to grow up healthy and strong. "As you can see, there's just limited space for a kid to actually have something to play on," he said. "But now, this opens up a lot of new activities for them on the playground." Abbott says his daughter - along with Casen and his classmates - will be busy for years to come.Volunteers began working on the project at about 8 AM, and worked until late afternoon. They hope to open the playground for the kids on Monday. Labor was provided by volunteers, and the First National Bank of Altus also donated money to build the playground.
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