Longleaf Elementary runs for cash

Students at the new Longleaf Elementary school in Hattiesburg are taking strides to raise money for new playground equipment. Sabrina McDonald, lead teacher of the school, says this will benefit students in more ways than one.

"They're already looking forward to it. Since the start of school, Miss McCarty, our principal, has had in the front glass cases in the foyer of the school pictures showing them what she envisions our playground to look like," McDonald said.

Donating a check is one way to contribute, but for each lap around the playground premises a child runs on Friday, a dollar is donated for new equipment from people around the community. They call this "the cash dash."

"Two weeks ago, we had a great big cash dash pep rally," McDonald said.

"We had a DJ there and cheerleaders. The kids were told the steps and the safe ways to collect money and donations. They were also shown some of the great incentives and prizes they'll receive as they get to the different levels."

According to "The Benefits of Playgrounds," by the Shasta Children and families First Commission, playgrounds heighten social, motor, emotional, and cognitive development. Researchers have also found that playground equipment, such as monkey bars, builds muscles and endurance.