Playtime is one of the most important parts of the day for kids in school, and one class raised over half a million dollars to create an accessible playground for their classmates.
Playtime at school should be a time that every child can enjoy. It’s the break in your school routine where you get to run wild, have fun, and blow off steam before heading back to class.
One elementary school in the US noticed that not everyone in their class was getting the chance. As such, they decided to make a difference.
Kids raise half a million for accessible playground for classmates – an inclusive playground for all
Kids at Glen Lake Elementary School in Hopkins, Minnesota, noticed that several of their classmates were restricted when it came to the play equipment available in their school playground.
Several students have physical disabilities that require wheelchairs. This means that they would have to sit on the sidelines and watch their classmates play, unable to join in due to inaccessible equipment.
This just didn’t sit right with some of the kids at Glen Lake, and in turn, they asked their teacher how they could make it so that everyone could be included.
They discovered that acquiring such equipment would cost around $300,000. This didn’t deter them, however, as they were determined to raise the whichever way they could.
How the funds were raised – a valiant, exhaustive effort
To raise the funds, the children started collecting money in whatever way they could. They collected spare change, held bake sales, and they even started cold-calling businesses to enhance their efforts.
The kids worked at it for months, and eventually, they surpassed their target to acquire adaptive playground equipment to ensure all children could enjoy themselves at recess. This meant that they were able to provide accessible equipment for neighbouring schools, too.
Rhys Riley, a student at Glen Lake, told CBS, “I was just really happy that we made it”.
Another student who would get to use the new playground equipment for the first time said, “First time I set foot on this playground, I’m probably going to start crying from seeing the effort all the school has made.”
The importance of recess – essential for child development
Play is an imperative part of any kid’s school day, as well as their daily life. Playing, whether it’s alone or with their peers, improves physical, social, and cognitive skills and well-being. It also contributes to the emotional well-being of children and young people.
Play gives kids the confidence that will carry them through to adulthood. This is why it’s so important that EVERY student is able to capitalise on it.
Children learn a lot about themselves through play, and, as such, the kids at Glen Lake Elementary, with the help of their teacher, Betsy Julien, have enriched their classmates’ lives more than they can imagine.