Chippewa Valley Montessori wins Schools Rule! contest

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- For Paula Bonnin of Eau Claire and her dog Mini, Chippewa Valley Montessori School is on their daily walking route.

"We've lived here about six years and so we've been walking past the Montessori School every day, twice a day, if not more," explains Bonnin.

During those trips, the students have come to know and love Paula and Mini, and she has come to know and love them right back.

"The kids are wonderful. They have manners, they say please and thank you, and they're always happy to see Mini and they're always asking, 'Can we pet Mini? Can we pet Mini?'" she adds.

But while passing by, Paula couldn't help but notice, the school's playground could use some work.

"The old eagle's nest, I grew up with one of those, so I won't tell you how old I am but that needs to go, it needs something new."

According to Principal Todd Johnson, last month the school launched a fundraising campaign to make a new playground a reality.

"Our playground has outlived its usefulness, it just has expired. According to the manufacturer, we can't get parts anymore," says Johnson, "we just think our kids should be able to play on safe and fun equipment, that's such a big part of education."

The playground comes at a cost: $80,000. Paula nominated the school in our Schools Rule! contest, in hopes they would win the $3,000 in Box Tops for Education, courtesy of General Mills, to help them pay for a new playground.

Monday Gordy's Guru Matt Selvig and I were thrilled to announce to the school, they won!

"We know that it's one small act, but hopefully the kids will see that one small act will really make a difference," says Bonnin.

"She's made an impact on the kids, the kids have made an impact on her," adds Johnson.

We are always taking nominations for Schools Rule! online, just go to the link attached to this story.

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