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Fall fundraising, gifts help improve William Wood's playground

By Carolina Astrain
Sept. 22, 2012 at 4:22 a.m.

Johanna Lewis and Allison DeLeon hang from the rings of their new playground equipment at William Wood Elementary School.

BY THE NUMBERS

$ 25,000 - Raised by students, parents and teachers at William Wood Elementary's annual Fall Festival and Wood-Hi Benefit Club

$ 2,000 - Raised by students through a partnership with South Texas Milling Inc.

$ 10,000 - Donated by the Wood Family Memorial Trust

$ 6,000 - Donated by Dow Chemical in Seadrift

Source: Tassley Hencerling, Wood-Hi Benefit Club Treasurer

Shrill screams ripped through the quiet country air at William Wood Elementary School.

It was recess and students were ready to yell, jump, run and do anything else to release all the pent up energy that had been stewing in them since breakfast.

A wild pack of them made for the shiny new red, white and blue fortress on the playground.

The new structure was purchased with donations from the Wood Memorial Family Trust, the Dow Chemical -Seadrift Foundation and fundraising by the students and Wood-Hi Benefit Club.

"The previous one was pretty old and rusted," said William Wood Elementary secretary Stephanie Swanson. "It was broken in parts and dangerous for the kids."

The majority of the funds came from student, teacher and parent fundraising from the school's Fall Festival.

"It feels good," said fourth-grader Anastacia Morales. "Our original goal was to raise $7,000."

The students also worked in partnership with South Texas Milling Inc., who provided local goods like caramels and pickled carrots to sell for fundraising.

"If you were at the Telferner Store it was easy to sell a lot," said fifth-grader Allison De Leon. "This new playground is so much better."

The kids agreed more improvements still need to be made in and out of the playground, including a merry-go-round, more books for the book fair, new computers, laptops, projectors, better cafeteria food and sunnier skies.

"We haven't been able to play on it a lot," said third-grader Nevaeh Ramirez.

The improvements made on the playground benefit the elementary school's surrounding community, Wood-Hi Benefit Club Treasurer Tassley Hencerling said.

"Some bring their families here for birthday parties and events," Hencerling said. "This was in the community's best interest."

Dow Chemical spokeswoman Trish Thompson agreed.

"This project was appealing because it not only serves the school, but the community as well," Thompson said. "We're very impressed by the fact that the students helped support the project."

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