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Hanging Around: J.H. House opens new playground

The school held a ribbon cutting for the new equipment at the school on Friday afternoon. Pictured, from left, are Maureen Wood, PTA representative; Greg Joyner, General Mills representative; Traci Jerome, PTA representative: Andrea Cudzilo, PTA representative; Tammy Smith, principal; Dr. Patricia Davis, donor; and Carol Clark, donor.

The school held a ribbon cutting for the new equipment at the school on Friday afternoon. Pictured, from left, are Maureen Wood, PTA representative; Greg Joyner, General Mills representative; Traci Jerome, PTA representative: Andrea Cudzilo, PTA representative; Tammy Smith, principal; Dr. Patricia Davis, donor; and Carol Clark, donor.

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Staff Photos: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith Kindergartener Micah Hudson enjoys the new dome climber at J.H. House Elementary School. Students have collected pennies for the past five years to help raise money for new playground equipment at the school; several donors also gave money to the cause.

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J.H. House students really enjoy the swings, since they've never had them before. Prior to receiving the new equipment, they played on equipment that was more than 20 years old.

CONYERS -- It took five years, but the students at J.H. House Elementary School finally raised enough money to help purchase new playground equipment for the school.

The school held a ribbon cutting for the new equipment on Friday, commemorating five years of hard work and help from the community.

"Five years ago, the students of J.H. House started collecting pennies to raise money to purchase new equipment for the playground," said Tracy Barbee, co-president of the school's PTA.

Former school Principal Carolyn Poole wanted to see the students have new equipment, so she helped them get started in the effort.

"We've had the same equipment for at least 20-plus years," said Andrea Cudzilo, co-president of the PTA.

She and other teachers and community members who attended the school when they were younger remember the old equipment.

Sadly, she said, it only included a slide and a climbing set.

"There wasn't a lot for the older children," she said.

Now, the school also will have a rock wall, a round climbing set and a set of swings.

"It will really help with the upper strength and help them be more active," Cudzilo said. "The swings are a big hit because we've never had swings before."

The students ended up paying for about a third of the equipment by raising $4,000. The rest of it was purchased from Hasley Recreation in Greensboro with support from the PTA and help from three donors -- Carol V. Clark, a graduate of Rockdale County High School whose sister works at the school, and Dr. Patricia Davis from Buford, who has a medical practice in Conyers and wanted to find a way to give to the community, as well as General Mills, a partner in education that gave the school a grant for the rock wall.

A plaque thanking the donors also was erected at the site.