State Farm Neighborhood Assist ® 2018

The Power of Play

The Power of Play is a vision to create a playground that is universally inclusive for all people.

The playgrounds of Carl Junction R-1 Schools, as well as the town of Carl Junction, are not accessible to children with physical limitations such as those who require wheelchairs for mobility. They are unable to propel wheelchairs over the mulch surface. The structures are inaccessible to those in wheelchairs or who face coordination and strength 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 replacing the mulch with a solid, poured-in-place rubber surface that is safe and accessible for all people. This will affect the children, as well as parents and grandparents 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.

$25,000 would greatly address the unmet need by providing 4 new and fully accessible structures to the playground! Another grant is providing funding for the solid surfacing, and this grant would provide new structures that all children can play on, and provide opportunities for children with special needs to access them and play as well. 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 maintenance or replacement required, which means that in the next 3 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!