GROVELAND — Large classes at Groveland Elementary School have made it necessary to divide students into two groups on the playground. One group gets the new playground, the other is on an older playground. Unfortunately, the older playground offers little in the way of play structures for the children.

“The problem is in fourth grade there are around 140 students,” said fourth-grade teacher Kayla Coxe. “We don't fit on the one playground, so we split, one half on the newer playground by the lunch room and the others have the old playground. On the old playground there are places for eight swings, but only two work, and one slide. It's just not a functioning place for them to play and a lot of kids stand around and don't do anything.”

Coxe said with approximately 760 students at Groveland Elementary, all the other grade levels have to split playground time also.

Coxe has been trying to improve the playground for two years and has placed two donor requests for balls and small equipment at DonorsChoose.org. She and a committee have also looked into grants for the playground and are currently under consideration by Kaboom, a national nonprofit that helps fund play spaces.

The committee recently came up with new grant estimates for different play structures with $35,000 needed at the high end and $23,000 at the lower end. Coxe said they would like to include a handicap swing in the plans.

The city of Groveland has decided to donate the proceeds from its Nov. 5 Juice Jog 5K to help upgrade the playground. Parks and recreation manager, Rebekah Morgan said she is looking to raise a minimum of $2,000 at the event. She said the first two Juice Jogs were donated to veteran organizations and the city was looking for something to fit in with the parks department mission when they decided on donating proceeds to the school playground.

“We're encouraging students, parents and staff to attend to raise more funds for the school,” Morgan said.

She said they are also looking for donations and gift baskets to raffle. Sponsors can go to the city website to sign up.

Those interested in attending the Juice Jog can go to raceentry.com and search Groveland to register. Early registration is $10 for participants ages 11 and younger and $15 for 12 and older. The race begins at Lake David Park and winds through the downtown area.

“It makes me sad. I remember when I went to school that was the highlight of my day to play and talk to my friends,” Coxe said. “It shows that what you do all through schools sticks with you forever so we have to make it memorable.”