Students Create Incredible Playground for Who?

Photo by Dave Sherrill on Unsplash

( – Glen Lake Elementary School in Hopkins, Minnesota, was recently blessed to have changes in its facilities which are guaranteed to change the lives of its students.

Glen Lake has a large number of students with physical disabilities. Yet, their facilities do not reflect the needs of those children. Their playground in particular is not accessible or friendly to those children, as the kids in Betsy Julien’s fifth-grade class noticed there was no wheelchair merry-go-round, swings, or other playground equipment that could be used by those children.

As the children in her class pointed out, this was not fair to the other students who were often left out. This also led to recess not being as much fun for those students as they did not have access to the same equipment.

This is what led to one brave student asking the big question. Why couldn’t they just buy the necessary equipment to fix the problems in the playground themselves? In response, Julien told the student that it was a really expensive investment and that according to her estimations, it would cost around $300,000 to get the new playground equipment.

Instead of feeling deterred though, the children now had a goal. They started collecting spare change, running a fundraising event, and went door to door to gather donations from restaurants and businesses in their area. For months the students, supported by the Glen Lake Parent Teacher Organization, continued to collect money until their goal was reached.

One student, Riley, said that it was very overwhelming when all of their work paid off and they were able to make the playground more inclusive. One of the students who is a wheelchair user, John, said that the first time he visits the playground he would probably cry because of all the hard work the school put in.

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