Rebuilt Run-Down Elementary School Playground

The 25-year-old playground at an elementary school near Milwaukee, Wis., was so small that only 70 of its 575 students could play on it at a time.

That’s when Zachary Blohm saved the day: He and some volunteers built a giant playground with swings, monkey bars, climbing nets, slides and suspended rings.

Playgrounds aren’t cheap. To raise money, Zac planned T-shirt and bake sales, organized school dances, sold tickets to a spaghetti dinner and more. He held monthly fundraisers for more than a year. Overall, he collected $130,000 — enough to buy more swings and cooler playground equipment. But the work had just begun.

Zac was responsible for the 162 volunteers who assembled the playground. To keep things organized, he created a list of tools, gave each worker a specific job and drew a map showing the location of each station. Piece by piece, the playground took shape.

How do the students like the finished product? Some actually ask their parents to drop them off at school early so they can enjoy the playground. And the school’s Cub Scout pack has added 22 new members since the playground went up.

“I feel I had a part of that,” Zac says.

— Zachary B., Troop 218, Oak Creek, Wis.

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