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[whitespace] Lincoln celebrates fundraising effort with new playground equipment

Cupertino--Students at Lincoln Elementary School are happily playing on brand-new playground equipment and Nimitz, McAuliffe and Eaton elementaries are scheduled to receive theirs as well.

Last week, Lincoln held a schoolwide assembly to unveil the new slides, fire pole, spring ring and vertical climbers installed in the upper- and lower-grade playgrounds.

The new equipment was purchased after parents and community members raised approximately $22,000 last year. The district installed it for the school.

"That's the deal with the district," says Deborah Textor, Lincoln principal. "We get the equipment and they install it for us."

Lincoln has needed new playground equipment for several years. "We had some older equipment on the playground that was repeatedly breaking down and needed repairs," Textor says.

Replacing the items was the only solution in light of tougher playground regulations that go into effect in 2000. "We has some equipment that would not meet the new standards," Textor says. "So we wanted to bring ours up to standards."

The playground for the lower grades was refurbished with all new equipment. The box was home to a large slide that did not meet the new safety standards, some turning bars and a horse-shaped object for students to climb on.

"We knew in the primary toys that anything we put there would be an improvement just because we didn't have a lot of stuff there before," says June Lamm, a parent active in the new playground-equipment community. "We just wanted to make sure they had slides and things to climb on and so forth. We wanted to cover all the basics."

The new equipment for the lower grades' playground looks similar to what is in the upper-grade playground, but is more colorful. Students have new monkey bars, a fire pole, three slides and a turning bar.

"They have a lot more thing there than they had before," Lamm says.

The upper-grade playground--which already had rings and slides--was enhanced with the addition of three items.

"We replaced the monkey bars in the upper[-grade] playground that were coming apart, and put in the spring ring, a track slide and vertical climbers," Textor says.

Parents were extremely conscious of safety and proper age-related items in deciding which playground pieces to purchase, Lamm says. "We also wanted something that would be bright and cheery, but was also within our money," she adds.

While most of the new equipment has been installed, the turning and parallel bars are missing from the lower-grade playground. Until the pieces are in place, half of the playground box will be blocked off with orange fencing.

"I love our new playground and I hope our community loves it too," Lamm says.
Michelle Ku

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