Acton Elementary School (Acton, Maine – York Co.) is requesting a grant of $1000 from the Awesome Foundation to help purchase and install a large outdoor musical playground installation, called Percussion Play. These are giant musical instruments made of steel, and are installed outdoors for year-round play. Our goal is to be as inclusive as possible with all of our special needs students. Some students have physical and behavioral impairments, and one of our Kindergarteners has cone-rod dystrophy, which causes him to be legally blind. The instruments will provide auditory clues to help our visually impaired student determine where he is on the playground, what the layout is, and where the other children are at any given time. All children will use and enjoy these instruments as well! Inclusive playgrounds are ones designed specifically to ensure that children of multiple abilities can play together–not just alongside each other. Play, especially group play, is critical to the healthy growth and development of children. This is how they learn to solve problems, get along with others and develop the fine and gross motor skills needed to grow and learn. Research shows active music-making experiences can improve functioning in several developmental areas for visually impaired children. Children don’t realize that they are also learning and practicing non-musical skills, like turn-taking, joint attention, and visual imitation, all while they are just having fun together! The rewards of this investment by the Awesome Foundation would be enjoyed immediately, and by hundreds of children for years to come. Although our location is rural, using innovative, state-of-the-art solutions to help children learn and grow at Acton Elementary is what we’re all about!
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (June 2016)