Kindergartner with cerebral palsy gets first look at school's new ADA-approved playground
VICKSBURG, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - It's a touching story Newschannel 3 first told you about in September, when a group of fifth graders at a Kalamazoo County elementary school started a movement to help a special needs classmate.
Today, their dream came true.
Volunteers at Tobey Elementary School put together an ADA-approved playground fit for 5-year-old Hannah, who has cerebral palsy.
Friday, Hannah got her first glance at the school's new playset.
It took a lot of donations, fundraising, and helping hands to make this dream a reality for little Hannah.
It's a legacy Tobey Elementary School students and staff will leave for generations to come.
The sound of hard, hands-on work at Tobey Elementary School was all for this: the look in 5-year-old Hannah's eyes after seeing a playground she can climb.
A kindergartner with cerebral palsy, Hannah just wants to be like every other kid, but Principal Michael Barwegen says she has to work very hard to do that.
"I saw it. The teachers saw it. We found out pretty quickly that the other kids saw it, too. That's what this project is all about," he said.
Fifth grade students raised the majority of money for the $70,000 ADA-approved playground.
"I think the adults are learning from the kids here," Barwegen said.
The next step was putting it together, piece by piece.
Sinclair Recreation Vice President Rich Sinclair lead a team of volunteers in building the unique playset.
"It's important for kids with disabilities to be able to interact with all of their friends and piers on the same level. To feel engaged and involved. This structure is going to create that opportunity," he said.
The playset is equipped with ramps that will allow Hannah's mobility device to mount the structure--something she could never do at recess before--until now.
It's certainly an inspiring story, but we're told students are still a few thousand dollars short of their fundraising goal.
If you'd like to make a donation to their dream playground, click here.