By Jeff Noble/Staff writer
There’s already a playground behind Lynn Camp Elementary School.
But members of the school’s PTO organization want to upgrade that into a park-like surrounding. With the community’s help, some funding and a lot of “sweat equity,” they hope the project will become a reality.
“Some people think it’s impossible to do, but it is possible,” said Crystal Pennington, a member of the Lynn Camp Schools PTO that was formed last September.
Pennington added their focus is to make a new playground and landscaping for Lynn Camp Elementary, a school that has about 600 students. It also includes one other improvement that would also benefit residents who live in the area.
“There’s already a partial walking path behind the school, but we want it to circle the school. That would be a plus not only for children, but for adults who would like to walk or jog after school. We’re looking at putting some trees, benches and some flowers in the playground area to make it feel more like it’s a park. A lot of the kids’ parents and guardians are on limited incomes, and having a place for the community to use for recreation would be another benefit for the school. For now, that’s what we’re shooting for,” she noted.
Pennington said Wednesday the PTO’s efforts have been given the blessing of the Knox County Public Schools, who operate Lynn Camp Elementary. And the group has been busy now, looking ahead to making the park project a work come true.
“We have a company out of Somerset, Legacy Playgrounds, that’s interested in doing the work and wants to give us a bid on the work. We have a handful of really strong teachers and parents that are doing a great job, but we’re all limited to how much time we can contribute, and that’s why we’re planning on concentrating on help and donations,” she said.
Several fundraisers have already been held, including a school dance, hosting a school carnival, selling ice cream and holding a movie night. Most recently, the Lynn Camp Schools PTO have added intramural basketball and cheerleading competition to the fundraising events, and they also received a $500 donation from First National Bank in London to help with the playground improvement efforts.
Pennington mentioned that volunteers and contributions are welcome to help with the planned playground park. If you’d like to help, or volunteer, or need more information, she can be reached at 606-521-2282.
According to Pennington, the mother of two children who go to Lynn Camp Elementary, it’s a tough task to rally the community, but their group is up to the challenge.
“We’re new to fundraising and we’re needing more effort to try to gain much-needed parent and community support. My inspiration has been from a teacher at the elementary school, and one of our initial organizers from our PTO group. That organizer recognized that another elementary school on the other end of the county was able to raise funds for their great playground. All we want is a better and safer place for them to play. That’s what continues me to carry on with this project. My family has a stake in this, because it’s our kids’ future.”