McALISTERVILLE - Fayette Elementary School in McAlisterville is in the running to win a $30,000 playground makeover, and students and parents are asking for community support.
Tyler Barth, a first grade student at the school, discovered the Dannon Rally for Recess contest information on a box of his favorite smoothie drinks.
Though his mother, Kelly Barth, usually saves the treat for special occasions, she bought a box and went online for more information about the contest.
Photo submitted by Kelly Barth
Tanner Barth and Andrew Hunter, fourth grade students at Fayette Elementary School, handwrite index cards to mail for Rally for Recess contest codes. The McAlisterville school is in the running to win a $30,000 playground makeover.
Barth said the Rally for Recess contest will award a $30,000 grant to five schools that earn the most points by entering codes online. With nothing to lose, the Barth family registered their school.
"Maybe we would be lucky and win," she thought.
Barth said word of the contest spread quickly and other parents at the school got involved. Since then, what started as a quick afterschool snack has evolved into a school-wide effort to bring new playground equipment to Fayette Elementary School.
On Tuesday afternoon, the school stood in second place with slightly more than 3,000 points among the top 100 participating schools in their division.
"We have a very, very excellent chance of winning," Barth said. "This would be a wonderful way to have some positive things happening in the community."
Christa Watson, also a parent at the school, said points are earned by collecting codes on Danimals smoothie drinks or Danonino yogurt with "Rally for Recess" packaging.
The inside of specially marked packages includes a combination of 10 letters or numbers, Barth said. The codes can be redeemed for points by entering them at www.rallyforrecess.com.
"We can also get free codes by mailing in a request," said Ruth Hunter, another parent at the school.
To make a code request, supporters are asked to handwrite their name, birthdate and email@example.com on a 3x5 inch index card. One index card per envelope should be mailed to Dannon Danimals Rally for Recess Free Code Request, P.O. Box 760017, El Paso, TX, 88576-0017. Parents organizing the event will receive the free codes at the Fayette Playground email address and will redeem them for points through the contest website.
Those interested in helping can also offer monetary donations to purchase postage for free code envelopes at www.gofundme.com/helpfayette.
"I feel that this contest offers a great life lesson to the students on teamwork, dedication and persistance," Barth said.
She said students at the school have been hanging posters, helping to write and mail free code cards and reading codes to parents as they enter them into the website.
"Our kids have been a part of this process the entire time and winning would reinforce all of those traits," she said.
If Fayette Elementary School wins, Barth said the old wood-style playground equipment, swings and seesaws would be updated to include safer and more interactive equipment.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/FayetteElementaryRallyForRecess or call Kelly Barth at 463-0198.