Levi Rawls, Maliyia Caldwell and Azareeah Leonard are just three of the children who will get to enjoy the special needs playground for which Dadeville Elementary School is currently raising funds. Children have been buying “bricks” for $1 to contribute to the cause. | Alison James

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Brick by brick fundraising

Published 11:54am Thursday, January 31, 2013

DES sells ‘bricks’ to raise money for special needs playground

Dadeville Elementary School needs citizens to help build a special needs playground brick by brick.

This mini-fundraiser isn’t actually about brick laying.

“It’s just a way to get some kids excited about it,” said Principal Chad McKelvey.

For $1, children have been able to add their names to the “brick walls” – sheets of red paper marked off in brick-size rectangles – located throughout DES.

“It’s a big deal for them to have their name in the hallway,” McKelvey said. “If their friend’s name is up there, they want their name up there.”

As previously reported in The Record, The new playground will feature a rubberized surface and special play equipment – like swings with safety restraints, a climbing wall and a paint station – along with a covering and a fence.

The project will total about $100,000. With a special grant covering $30,000, McKelvey said they are hoping for donations from community members and businesses.

But McKelvey said another important aspect was getting the students personally involved in the fundraising.

“They’re learning how they can contribute to the community and their school and how they can help their classmates and other people within our building who are going to benefit from this playground,” McKelvey said.

The mini-fundraiser ends tomorrow, but the need for funds is ongoing. Community members can purchase a “brick” for $1 in honor of a child at DES or simply make a donation.

The next fundraiser at DES will be a change drive, which will wrap up at the “Q&U Wedding” for the kindergarteners, Feb. 14.

Groundbreaking is still a future goal for the playground, but McKelvey said they are definitely making progress.

“We’re working to raise the money, and once we get to that point, then we’ll move forward,” McKelvey said. “But it’s coming along. I’m excited about where it’s headed.”