Teaching children that being part of a community includes supporting worthwhile projects is a lesson well-learned at St. Paul Lutheran School in Jackson.
For several months, students at the school have contributed coins to benefit the proposed Melaina's Magical Playground, an all-accessible play area planned for County Park North. In addition, the students held a walkathon that involved 200 to 300 students and community members.
The students' efforts paid off. They recently donated $10,507.18 to the playground, which is named for 3-year-old Melaina Cunningham, daughter of Jeff and Andrea Cunningham, who died last year. Andrea Cunningham is heading up the fundraising effort for the playground.
In addition to the donation from students at St. Paul Lutheran School, the playground also has received $100,000 from the Cape Girardeau Noon Optimist Club, $150,000 from the Cape Girardeau County Commission and $10,000 from the Jackson Jaycee Charitable Foundation. The project needs to raise $500,000 before work begins on construction of the playground. Donations may be sent to Melaina Cunningham and Friends Park Fund, P.O. Box 211, Cape Girardeau, MO 63702.
Hats off to the St. Paul students, their teachers and everyone who participated in this extraordinary fundraising effort. Give them all an A-plus for their efforts.