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East Newton PTO unveils new playground

COVINGTON - After six years of fundraising, the East Newton Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) finally was able to gift the school with a new playground area for the students.

Once the East Newton Elementary School, 2286 Dixie Road, Covington, finished its open house Wednesday evening, the PTO held a ceremonious ribbon cutting to introduce the park to the students, parents, teachers and school staff.

“It’s a big achievement,” said Kaci Marks, president of the PTO. “IT gives us cold chills just thinking about what we accomplished.”

The modernized playground set features the traditional slides, climbing bars, monkey bars, rope climbing and other kid friendly contraptions. Most notably, this new playground is made of plastic and metal material, a major contrast to the previous playground that was made of wood.

“It had splinters sticking out,” Marks said. “It was not kid friendly.”

The incoming students and parents seemed to enjoy the new play environment as well. Evie O’Kelley, a 9 year old who will be in the fourth grade this coming school year, says she’s very excited about this new play area.

“I love the spinning things,” she said pointing to three triangular-shaped objects attached to the set.

Altogether, the PTO raised $50,218 by hosting numerous fundraisers during school hours and outside of the school at other  events. Kathy Nealy, vice-president of the PTO, says the PTO had a “driving force” to get the new playground erected.

“You don’t forget the exact total when you’ve raised that much,” Nealy said while laughing.

The ceremony began around 7 p.m., but was short-lived. Unfortunately, roughly five minutes after the kids started playing on the new set, it began to rain.