Bank, students paint within the lines at playground

PARKERSBURG – Employees from First Neighborhood Bank in Parkersburg teamed up with Madison Elementary School to repaint the lines of the school playground Wednesday afternoon.

Principal Esther Lauderman said she was grateful to the bank for lending its time and community service.

“The four square and basketball lines are the most popular things,” Lauderman said of children at recess. “This is a need that we have that will really benefit the kids because all the movement they can get is beneficial not only to their health but also to their success with their academics.”

Courteney McCloskey from the bank said the company tries to do a lot of community service projects for the elementary school – its partner in education. She said they had the idea to paint the playground after Lauderman said that was one of the greatest needs at the school.

“They said they needed the lines of the playground repainted and it wasn’t in the budget for the board of education to do it,” McCloskey said.

“Last quarter we did a fundraiser for them; they’re wanting to build a fence and we raised a little over $700 with a purse raffle for them,” she said.

Lauderman said some of the newer playground equipment was obtained through a grant. However, some of the equipment remains in bad shape and the lines for four square and other activities have not been painted in at least the four years she has been principal at Madison.

“You can look at this … it’s obviously been a very long time,” Lauderman said. “Madison Elementary is really grateful to First Neighborhood Bank for providing this nice service.”

The principal said she isn’t the only one who will be happy with the renovation. Physical education teacher Tim Sayre has been with the school for some time and was excited to hear something was being done, she said.

Lauderman said Sayre is an “excellent teacher” and has West Virginia University at Parkersburg students who are looking to go into physical education shadow him.

The university sends those students to learn from Sayre, she said.

“If that tells you anything about how great he is,” Lauderman said of the WVU-P partnership with Sayre.

Haley Meredith and Jeremy Webb were on hand to help with the painting Wednesday afternoon. Meredith was sweeping the grounds so Webb and McCloskey could paint.

Lauderman said the students at her school have been looking to raise money for rubber mulch for the playgrounds.

“We have to keep replacing this mulch and (rubber) would last forever,” she said.

Williamstown Elementary School is one of the few area schools with rubber mulch on the playground, Lauderman said.