RIPLEY- Members of Ripley Elementary PTO have spent the past three years raising money to replace the broken and unsafe ‘big toy’ playground at Ripley Elementary School. In August, with the help of parents and volunteers from the community, a new playground was installed in place of the old one. This playground cost $69, 072 with $39,072 raised by the PTO and $30,000 form the Jackson County Board of Education. The new playground has brought life back to the school and community during after school hours. Local families are often viewed utilizing the new playground till the wee hours of the evening. 

Ripley Elementary PTO representatives Ashley Hosaflook and Bobbi Ferrell came before the Ripley City Council to inform the Council of the ongoing efforts at Ripley Elementary School and the future aspirations for the playground area. According to the representatives the current play area only offers 3 swings, one of which is for children with special needs. Two or three swings are not adequate when there are nearly 100 students on the playground at any given time. There is enough space to add 8 more swings and a stand-alone slide to complete this project, but the PTO’s funds have been depleted. 

Since the playground is utilized by the community during after school hours the Ripley PTO made a request to the City of Ripley to provide additional funding for the duration of the project. The Ripley PTO applied for the $2,500 Turn This Town Around grant and were announced as a recipient of the grant on Thursday, August 27, 2015 Ripley Believes Rally.

Including the grant money it will cost a remainder of $9541 to install 8 swings plus another stand-alone side. The City of Ripley agreed if it was financial feasible to grant the remainder of the money to the Ripley PTO playground project due to the fact the community utilizes the facility after school hours. 

The Mayor of Ripley commended both women on the hard work and dedication they’ve placed into the project for the children of Ripley Elementary School.