Maitland River Elementary School is an amalgamation of five rural schools. The students are enjoying the modern and green features of the school building, but would really like to have a completed playset to romp around on during recess. The objectives of this project are:
- Create a playground that is accessible to all children, no matter their physical or emotional or cognitive needs
- Specific features of the play sets were chosen in recognition that accessibility does just refer to physical access but should aim to challenge and stimulate children with differing abilities
- These features also enhance all children’s play experiences by stimulating different sensory inputs
- Create a space for children to meet and increase their social development through interaction with their peers
- Augment the learning process through play
Over the past 4 years we have successfully installed swings, sandboxes, a primary play structure and in the fall of 2016, a junior climbing structure. The Spring of 2017 will see two additions to the junior climbing structure as we continue to work towards completing our accessible playground by the Fall of 2017.
There is a Chinese proverb that states if you want "100 years of prosperity" you need to "grow people"; in other words, if real prosperity is what you desire, then invest your efforts in nurturing people. This is why one of our goals is to provide children, in our school and community, with access to barrier free, stimulating play equipment that fosters their social, emotional and physical needs. This one step provides the conditions in which young people can flourish and be empowered to move towards their future with confidence. A playground is not just fun equipment, but also represents adults' commitment to bettering their children's lives.