The Playground Project Barnardsville Elementary The playground at Barnardsville Elementary is not only a place for students to be active, it is a center of a tight-knit mountain community where some families have lived for generations. So when the playground needed repairs and updates, it wasn’t hard for Principal Danna Grimes to get the school’s PTO involved. After more than a year of planning and raising nearly $40,000 from grants and valued community partners, the new and improved schoolyard was unveiled, with over 150 people coming together on April 1st for a dedication ceremony and meal. Barnardsville students proudly stand next to their newest playground piece. In addition to an impressive new play structure, there is also an outdoor classroom space. The swings also received a tune-up and fresh paint, which Ms. Grimes said was important to the community “because many a first kiss happened there, and even a marriage proposal!” “It was important for the playground to be a place where people would want to come together,” she said. The project has been an ongoing community effort, with neighbors and community partners* willing to get their hands dirty to make the dream a reality. The project was made possible by generous donations from local businesses and individuals. * A complete list of our valued partners has been shared at BCSadvantage.org. Students enjoy a bench in their new “Book Nook”, installed in honor of Thomas Edgar Shepherd, Jr. 12 The new playground set features two slides and climbing walls!