Kindergarten Yard Accessibility Enhancements
The playground for our youngest learners is in desperate need of help! With shade from only one young tree, it becomes unbearably hot in the early summer months. Students have no where to go to escape the sun and heat. In the middle of the playground there is a 27 x 33 foot sand pit, surrounded by a cement sidewalk. Sand escapes from the pit, creating a slippery sidewalk for students to use. The sand also prohibits students with mobility needs from fully enjoying the outdoor space. Unfortunately, it is also very popular with neighborhood cats!
For the past three years we have been fundraising internally to accomplish three goals for the playground. The first goal is to provide a "shade sail" that will cover a large area of the playground, providing necessary protection from the sun. We have researched a semi-permanent shade that can be removed during the winter as well as during July and August, prolonging it's lifespan. Our second goal is to re-surface the sand pit with engineered wood fiber, that mats together to provide consistent barrier free access for wheelchairs and walkers. It also exceeds all requirements for children's play areas and equipment, with thickness geared to fall heights. Our final goal for the space, is to include an age appropriate climbing/play structure. The students currently utilize two small structures: a plastic dinosaur, as well as a steel frame truck. With close to forty students using the yard simultaneously, there is only room for approximately six students to use the present equipment at any given time.
Active play and investigation of surroundings are large components of the full day kindergarten curriculum, and with the proposed enhancements to their playground, all students regardless of abilities will be able to share in meaningful learning and exploration opportunities.
Funded by Sarnia, ON (December 2017)