CLEVELAND, Tenn. (BNc) — Michelle Rogers had a dream, but it would cost $65,000 to fulfill it.

Rogers, who taught middle school for two years, transferred to Waterville Community Elementary, where she has been for five years. When she arrived in Waterville, she heard parents complain about the lack of adaptive playground equipment for the handicapped.

“I had no idea what I was getting myself into at the time, but I started planning and raising money for the playground,” said Rogers.

Rogers started a fund-raising campaign by sending out letters to local businesses and community groups, organizing fundraisers and applying for grants. With the help of several large donations, she was able to raise the necessary funds for the playground equipment.

“Part of my job is being an advocate for those without a voice. I feel like that was what this playground endeavor was all about. Seeing my students’ smiles and hearing their laughter while they are playing on the playground is reward enough for me,” said Rogers.

Rogers is a member of the East Side church in Cleveland. She is the mother of two boys. Her husband Michael is also a school teacher. Michelle teachs Bible classes, and Michael is the VBS director and newly-appointed deacon in their congregation.