Cedar Ridge Elementary School in Grovetown has not yet opened its doors, but its families already are supporting the new school.
The school held a spaghetti dinner fundraiser Friday at Grovetown United Methodist Church to raise money for playground equipment.
"Our biggest challenge right now is getting our playground equipment," said Principal Sarah Walls.
She said the new school will have two playgrounds that are surrounded by fences when school starts Aug. 13.
"They'll be able to jump rope, play with balls," Walls said. "There will be things out there for them to do. But you know kids. They like to climb."
She said Cedar Ridge has applied to the Columbia County Board of Education for a $50,000 loan to purchase playground equipment. However, the principal said, the school has to raise 20 percent of that amount before it can get the loan.
Cedar Ridge has received $5,000 in special purpose local option sales tax funds for the equipment, Walls said, and that can be part of the school's down payment.
Misty Roberts, whose 8-year-old son, Chance, will be a third-grader at Cedar Ridge, was one of the organizers of the event. She said the school will hold another fundraiser in October. That event will be a fall festival at the school, she said.
Jeniffer Brown, a first-grade teacher at Cedar Ridge, attended the spaghetti dinner to do her part to raise money for the playground equipment.
"It's very important to allow the kids to be able to get out of the room and socialize," she said.
She shared a table with her paraprofessional, Janice Brown.
"I'm just supporting the school. And I hope, in turn, it supports me," Brown said.
Heather Kitchen enjoyed the dinner with her daughters, Kaitlyn, 6, and Alyssa, 4, while her husband, John, served spaghetti.
"You can't start school without a playground," she said.
Keily Carlson and her daughter, Loren, 6, who will be a first-grader at Cedar Ridge, said they were excited about the new school.
"We ride by and check it every day," Carlson said.
When it comes to playground equipment, Loren said, "I like everything."
Her mother said it was important for the school to have playground equipment.
"You can't go through first grade without monkey bar callouses," she said.
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