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DALLAS -- A group of parents is exercising their civic duty to build up their community school.

A group called LEEF - Lakewood Elementary Expansion Foundation - is comprised of parents and other community members. Its goal is to expand Lakewood Elementary School in the DISD.

"It's tough to have to come in these uninspiring portables and get them excited, when you can't even see outside or space to move," said organizer Dorcy Clark.

The school was built in 1951, but the portables were put in after that time. Clark said close to half the school population is educated out of those portable classrooms.

"I said there's something wrong with this, and really started to pursue what a learning environment should look like," Clark said.

LEEF is about raising private dollars for the public school. The group's goal is to raise $15 million to help double the school size, while removing the portables and incorporating more technology into the classrooms.

"We're investing in these guys here," said Bogdan Deac, a parent to a 2nd grader who attends the school.

The district is also on board with the new group.

So far, only a conceptual design has been created for the project. Clark said it's still in the early stages and the fundraising will begin in the fall.

E-mail jpanicker@wfaa.com

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