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Madison parent group raises money for climbing wall

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MASSENA — Students at Madison Elementary School soon will be climbing the walls — literally.

The Madison WHO Club, the school’s parent group, raised $7,700 to purchase an 8-by-40-foot climbing wall for the gymnasium. The donation was accepted last week by the Massena Central School Board of Education.

The purchase could not be made until board members accepted the donation, according to Madison Principal Alan C. Oliver, who said the school wanted to make the purchase before the end of December to lock in this year’s prices.

“We will have that assembled for our physical education students,” interim Superintendent William W. Crist told board members.

Mr. Oliver said the climbing wall extends 8 feet off the ground and features thick safety mats. It will be used by all students in physical education classes.

“This wall will allow all students to engage in an activity which is very good exercise and very fun at the same time,” he said.

Mr. Crist said the district already has checked with its insurance company to ensure the wall would be in compliance with the provisions in its policy.

Mr. Oliver said that with the $7,700 donation from the parent group, it has now donated a considerable sum of money to the school over the past two years.

“This gift represents a total of nearly $16,000 which has been donated to Madison in the last two years to benefit our students. Last year the parent group donated $8,500 for the purchase of Smartboards for Madison,” he said.

Four classrooms at Madison Elementary School were equipped with the new Smartboards thanks to the fundraising efforts of the parent group. Mr. Oliver had approached the group with a proposal to provide more technology for some of the classrooms, and the group was able to accommodate his request, selling Yankee Candles to raise the money.

The Smartboard is an interactive whiteboard that uses touch detection for user input, such as scrolling and right mouse click. It operates as part of a system that includes the interactive whiteboard, a computer, a projector and whiteboarding software.

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