Hopes & Dreams Where Are ALL the Children?
Hopes & Dreams
When my son, Christian, was born, I was taught very quickly about discrimination, segregation, separate programs and isolation away from his non-disabled peers. I have never understood why children with disabilities have to be isolated in their homes, schools, churches and the workforce and not included in their communities. We have tried to ensure that Christian is included and is an important part of his community. Our hometown of League City, Texas, seemed to be the perfect choice to do provide this opportunity!
So, as my son grew up, he attended school and was not included in activities. I thought, “how simple it would be to help to create a community that my child is a part of ”. I used to watch a boy that my son went to school with just sit on the sidelines at the playground and play with rocks. That just broke my heart. I asked the teachers if he got to play with the other children. They said no. I asked the teachers if the other children played with him. They also said no. I was determined to help change that situation for that little boy. One night, while I was laying in bed, after we had a really rough day at school, I was trying to understand why everything our kids did had to be separated from the other kids? They wanted my son to sit in a segregated classroom with other children that were far more disabled than him. I did not feel that would be the appropriate placement for him. So God spoke to me about SIDE BY SIDE, and building something that was a place for ALL children to play. I then got on my computer and typed in playgrounds that include children with disabilities and up popped the BOUNDLESS PLAYGROUND website: http://www.righttoplay.org/. It actually took my breath away. I then knew what I am supposed to do. And hence the Side by Side Hopes & Dreams Boundless Playground in League City, Texas was born.
A playground that will have unique rubberized surfacing, awesome music area, colorful play panels, double wide ramps, accessible swings, interactive play equipment, garden sensory area where you can put a brick in honor of someone you know that has a disability, and much, much more!
The playground will be for everybody. We’ll have a place where our senior citizens can watch their grandchildren play and our disabled veterans can play with their children.
Hopes & Dreams
The fact that Clear Creek School District has 3,600 disabled children should have been reason alone for building this playground.
League City has been a great place to achieve this dream!!!
The Patrons of the Park, a foundation set up to raise money for the playground, worked with local charities and state and national foundations. The City of League City committed $236,000 to this unique project, American Legion donated $500, and CVS- Caremark donated $3,000 and numerous bricks were sold. There were community organizations involved in this project and the foundation raised the rest through grants and donations.
The dream that ALL children deserve a place to play. I would love for every city to have one of these playgrounds.
- Inclusion: Why It Matters?
- Social Club Extends Inclusion Beyond the Classroom
- Inclusive Bathrooms: Let’s Start Talking About It
- Developing Your Own Network
- Play the Building Blocks to Success
- Free Access Pass to America the Beautiful
- Top 5 Children’s Museums That Are Fun for Everyone!
Visit us at: www.facebook.com
This post originally appeared on our May/June 2011 Magazine