Cambodia playground made possible by fifth grader

Peter Swanson, 10, a fifth-grader at Johnson Elementary School, holds the trays of empty M&M containers that were filled with quarters Wednesday at his house. He raised $1,704 in quarters to help build a playground at Sre Chrap Primary School in Cambodia. / V. Richard Haro/The Coloradoan

Peter Swanson, 10, gave children in his native Cambodia a reason to smile this Christmas.

Swanson, a fifth-grader at Johnson Elementary School, raised $1,704 in quarters for Sustainable Schools International to build a playground at Sre Chrap Primary School in the rural Kampong Speu province of Cambodia, giving children extra incentive for remaining in school despite a high dropout rate.

“Normally, they don’t want to come to school because it’s not really that fun (without a playground),” Swanson said. “A few more kids have actually joined the school now because of the playground.”

With the help of his teacher, Tracey Clark, and classmates, Swanson distributed full M&M tubes for students to enjoy and bring back filled with quarters for the school. One tube can hold up to $14 in quarters.

“It’s a neat way to involve the kids,” said Jessica Davis, Swanson’s mom. “You’d be surprised how many quarters fit in those.”

Read more:
http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20120126/NEWS01/201260329/Cambodia-playground-made-possible-by-fifth-grader

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