Dreaming of a playground for all children of all abilities, Glen Lake teacher Betsy Julien’s Glen Lake Accessibility Project Grant will enable equitable and inclusive recess play for all students. With hopes of adding a wheelchair swing and other accessible playground equipment to the current Glen Lake upper playground, wheelchair-bound students will be able to grow their connections and friendships, strengthen their communication, social skills and interactions by playing together with one another as well as with their non-wheelchair-bound peers.
As the home of the district-wide Compass program, providing programming for elementary-aged children who have complex medical needs, Glen Lake has multiple wheelchair users at the school. “Truly accessible playground equipment allows students who do NOT use wheelchairs to see their peers as equals,” Julien explained in her grant application.
With Compass located at Glen Lake for many years to come, this investment in wheelchair accessible playground equipment will impact countless future students by enhancing the school’s current playground offerings. Additionally, this investment reduces not only the degradation associated with being lifted onto non-wheelchair accessible equipment in front of peers as is experienced by students, but also significantly lessens the physical toll on staff as well as the number of staff needed to assist wheelchair users at recess.
With HEF’s $35,000 Glen Lake Accessibility Project Grant, Glen Lake will be that much closer to making this dream a reality. Soon students will be able to swing face-to-face, building strong human connections at Glen Lake and we can’t wait!
Glen Lake Elementary School
Submitter: Fifth Grade Teacher Betsy Julien