The Power of Play... Play is for Everyone

The Power of Play is a vision to create playgrounds that are universally inclusive for all people

The playgrounds of Carl Junction R-1 Schools, as well as those in the community, are not accessible to children with physical limitations, such as those who require wheelchairs for mobility. They are unable to propel wheelchairs over uneven surfaces. The structures are inaccessible to those in wheelchairs or who face motor limitations from other disabilities. They also do not fully meet the sensory needs of those with sensory processing disorders and autism. Our plan is to renovate the playgrounds by adding accessible structures and using a solid rubber surface for ground cover that is safe and accessible for all people. This will affect the children, as well as family members, who want to safely play with their kids. This will provide an opportunity for those with significant limitations to play for the first time at a park, providing socialization, motivation, motor development, the foundation for learning, and an opportunity to make friends.

$25,000 would greatly address the unmet need by providing four new and fully accessible structures to the playground! With this grant award we could provide an at-grade inclusive multi-person spinner, a cozy dome for climbing on as well as into for sensory de-escalation, and two inclusive bucket swings with safety harnesses! All children could use all of the equipment, regardless of ability level. Another grant is providing funding for the solid surfacing underneath the structures, and the State Farm grant would provide all of the new structures that every child can play on. It will provide opportunities for children with special needs to also access them and play with their peers. This will provide opportunities for empathy and understanding for all children, as well as a chance to interact in a purposeful and self-directed manner, and to make new friends!

This grant and the provision of accessible structures will provide meaningful opportunities to play for hundreds of children and their families. The structures are projected to last 30+ years without replacement, which means that in the next three decades it will impact thousands of people in our community. Also, by creating this opportunity, it sets a precedence for accessibility that will come to be expected. When it comes time to replace structures, they will be replaced with accessible structures which will provide impact on generations to come. It will also influence surrounding communities to change the way they approach playgrounds. The impact will have endless waves or effect!