Five-year-old Devon Cresswell loves his school's playground.

So he was sad when vandals targeted Wanganui East School earlier this month, smashing windows, spraying graffiti, and damaging the school's junior playground.

"He was quite upset when he saw it," his mother, Erina, said.

However, Devon is now happily playing at the playground again, thanks to the hard work of his mother and other Wanganui East parents and students.

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Ms Cresswell said the school's PTA president, Tracy Hutchins, posted about the vandalism on Facebook. "So a group of us decided to go down and help out. I was disgusted by what had happened. There was no respect - no respect at all."

Ms Cresswell said about 15 families were involved in the January 12 clean-up, including parents and children.

She decided to help out because she believed in the importance of community.

"I personally believe in a strong sense of community, and I believe volunteering is important. We live here, so this is what we do to help." She said Devon had been been at Wanganui East School for six months, and it was a wonderful environment for him. The playground was used often by local children in the area. Some of the tagging on the playground equipment could not be removed because of the materials it was made from.