Principals from around the country put on gloves, pick up shovels and get to work at John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle School.
"I think it's fabulous that they're going to do another playground," says Jennifer, a rising 7th grader at John Ruhrah.
The school was selected as this year's service project for principals attending the National Association of Elementary School Principals' annual conference, which was held at the Baltimore Convention Center.
"It was amazing," says John Ruhrah's principal Mary Donnelly. "They were all very hard working. They were sweating."
Parents at the school have been saving money for several years to build a new playground but were far from their goal. "When they found out, they were extremely excited," says Donnelly.
Jennifer, along with 7 other students, performed two dances for the principals and parents prepared an international feast with Greek, Latino, and American dishes.
"This was completely donated equipment, and all of the labor from the principals here today was donated," explains Stephanie Sparks, who works for Sparks@Play and represents Landscape Structures, the company that donated the playground. "They [the principals] installed this playground, they painted new games on the asphalt and they did a bunch of yard work for the school."
"I am so grateful," said Donnelly. "I never would have thought that our school would have been selected and it makes me commit to going to Tennessee next year to do the community service day next year at the NAESP conference."
"I thnk it's awesome that people came here from different states and they worked very hard on this playground and I'm really, really thankful for them," said Brayan, a rising 7th grader at John Ruhrah.
Landscape Structures will put the finishing touches on the playground, hammering in the final pieces and pouring the concrete. Then it's time to play.
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