L’ANSE — Parents and teachers at L’Anse Area Schools are hoping to make sure students get the outdoor playtime that they need.

The C.J. Sullivan Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization is working to raise $100,000 to build a new playground structure. The organization recently received a $15,000 ‘KaBOOM!’ Grant from Dr. Pepper and Snapple to help get closer to the goal of replacing the aging playground equipment in 2019.

“We have some parts that are broken. A merry-go-round and other pieces on the playground are not working, and our structure is about 25 years old,” said Amy Nawrot, Middle School Math Teacher and C.J. Sullivan PTO President. “Our structure right now really only accommodates maybe ten students at a time, and we have as many as a hundred students — even more than that — at recess time.”

The project isn’t all fun and games. Officials believe that recess time can be nearly as important as classroom time, particularly for the younger students.

“It’s important that when kids get that break that they’re allowed to be able to be active — be moving,” said C.J. Sullivan Elementary School Principal John Nawrot. “It relieves stress, relieves tension, allows them to come back to the classroom more prepared and more focused and ready to learn.”

The PTO will be meeting with playground construction representatives in October to hash out the details of the new structure. They’re just under a third of the way toward funding the whole project. In addition to numerous fundraisers, the group is accepting donations.

Click here to find out how to contact the PTO. You can also follow the group on Facebook