I love our school and our love the teachers. They have gone above and beyond to help Nina be as independent as possible. But there is one thing I do not like about our school. The playground.
Nina gets out there with her wheelchair, transfers to her walker and she is off...
Off to watch the kids playing. Climbing. Sliding. Running. She is watching. She gets to play with the rocks around the play structures. Dump trucks, shovels. Maybe a kid will play with her. Kids like her, they really look after Nina.
Ellie and Nina have recces together. Today I asked Ellie if Nina has fun. Ellie said Nina has friends that play with her, but Nina cannot do anything because the play structures are just not...accessible. At all. Little rocks make it hard for a wheelchair or walker to get through, and no ramps make it impossible for Nina to have any independence. Out there, at school, she is completely dependent in other people. Either to stop and play with her, or to pick her up to help her go down a slide.
Twice a day, in the playground, Nina is disabled. It is a constant reminder that she is not like other kids. She watches, on the sidelines, or from the rocky ground.
Something needs to change.
Nina is not the only kid in her school with mobility issues. She is not the only child with special needs.
So I have been dreaming. I have been dreaming of "Boundless Playgrounds." With ground where a wheelchair or walker can access the structure. Where there are ramps! Where there are railings! Where a kid with Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Autism, and other special needs can feel just like one of the other kids. Where there is no divide between those that have challenges and their peers.
And I am determined.
You see, schoosl don't have a lot of money, so a playground is not at the top of the list. This is one of those situations where the parents need to step up, raise funds, and make things happen.
This is completely new territory for me!
And maybe you can help me sort things through.
Have you done this before? Have you raised money for a play structure in your school? Do you have connections? Do you know of places where you can apply for a grant? Dream with me!
I am really excited about this.
I am dreaming of playgrounds. Of Nina walking up a ramp right along with her friends. Going down slides. Her being independent! Twice a day... a time to look forward to being outside and being a kid! Yeah!
Let the brainstorming begin!