Mechanicsville Elementary's playground was placed off limits last week as it was deemed unsafe for children, according to the school's PTA president.
The PTA plans to raise money to build a new playground this year, and a national contest, Dannon Rally for Recess, may help the group reach that goal faster.
The contest requires that people purchase Dannon yogurt products (Danimals and Danoninos) and then enter the product code on the contest website. For each code entered for Mechanicsville, the school earns points. At the end of the contest, each winner in five categories (based on school sizes) will win $30,000 towards building a playground.
People can also write to Dannon to get a free code.
As of Sept. 19, Mechanicsville Elementary is in second place nationally in its category with 164 points. The first place school, located in Danville, CA, has 327 points.
The building of the school's playground took on a whole new meaning earlier this month when 5-year-old kindergarten student Nate Baker drowned at a family vacation in Virginia. Nate's parents, Justin and Kate, said they wanted to help raise the money for the playground because Nate would have loved playing on it.
"Nate would have loved that," Justin told Patch. "He would have wanted to be there while it was being built and he would have wanted to be the first one there to play on it."
The school community is invigorated to see this project come to fruition as soon as possible, both for the kids who attend the school, as well to honor their friend Nate Baker and his family.
"After what the Baker family has endured, we are determined to win, so that we can get all the funds and build the new playground and memorial for Nate as soon as possible," said Mechanicsville Elementary PTA President Julie Weaver.
How can you get involved?
- Donate to the Nate Baker fund through the www.nathanchrisbaker.com website.
- To participate in the Dannon Rally for Recess contest, visit www.rallyforrecess.com.
- Donations can also be made directly to the Mechanicsville Elementary PTA.