For 26 years, students at Wallace A. Smith Elementary have been playing on the same playground, but it's time for an update.
And, it turns out, a new jungle gym is now possible — thanks to a $5,000 donation from the Ooltewah Harrison Education Foundation.
Also known as D9, in honor of the Hamilton County and school district it serves, the nonprofit foundation focuses on assisting the five elementary schools in the district, where funding is often limited, organizers say.
In the case of Wallace A. Smith, the recently donated $5,000 will do even more than imagined, because it was matched by a grant to raise a total of $10,000 to add to the playground fund, said Wallace A. Smith Assistant Principal Lindsey Hagan.
"The kids were just buzzing all day about it when they announced it," she said of the new playground. "They were all just so excited."
Though there is no completion date set, Hagan said work is expected to begin soon.
To find out more about D9 and how to offer support, visit d9strong.com.
Earlier this year, D9 supplied 75 Harrison Elementary School third-graders with iPads to give them greater access to tutoring and other programs.