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Dahlgren elementary school to get new playground

Students at Potomac Elementary School in Dahlgren will be climbing, sliding and seesawing in style next fall, thanks to the donation of a new playground from the school’s Parent Teacher Association.

“Our PTA has worked very hard to add a playground to Potomac and finally we have raised enough money to make this actually happen,” Principal Angie Harris told the King George County School Board last week.

The PTA worked diligently for two years to raise the $37,000 needed to fully fund the playground, Potomac PTA president Erin Beardsley said. It replaces what Beardsley describes as a small, old playground.

The new playground features three slides, a climbing structure, monkey bars and a multi-child seesaw.

“It’s just definitely much more modern and more conducive to multi-age play,” Beardsley said.

The school’s now has two play areas: one for younger students and another for older kids with exercise bars, she said. The new playground will accommodate children ages 5 to 12.

“So it’s much better for an elementary school,” she said.

Beardsley put in the order for the playground equipment on Tuesday, she said. It should be delivered in about four weeks.

Parents, community residents and people from the Navy base at Dahlgren will install the equipment after professionals dig the holes and install the poles.

“We were able to put $10,000 more into the equipment because we’re doing the community-build,” she said.

More information about volunteering for the installation project will be available on the PTA’s Facebook page, Beardsley said.

The PTA raised $20,000 for the playground using Boosterthon Fun Runs, Beardsley said. Students had friends and family pledge money for laps they ran. They also raised money through Box Tops for Education, the Scholastic Book Fair and silent and live auctions at this year’s Spring Fling.

Beardsley has a second-grader and a fifth-grader at Potomac, she said, and they are both really excited about the playground.

Two years is a long time for kids to wait for a new playground, she said. She is pleased that students, parents and the community were able to work together to accomplish the goal they set.

“I’m just so proud to work with such a great team of people,” Beardsley said.

Sara Backstrom is a freelancer writer. She may be reached at localnews@freelancestar.com.

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