When a good idea is ripe and the right mix of people in UA is excited about it, anything can happen. And so it is with a project that will bring the UA community its first ADA-accessible, all-inclusive playground at Barrington Elementary School.
Barrington houses the schools' multiple disabilities K-2 program, accommodating children throughout the UA community. The new playground will replace an existing one that is aging and ill-equipped to provide these children access to one of the simplest and most joyful of childhood experiences. For example, the new playground will feature a glider that accommodates a child in a wheelchair -- imagine these children feeling the exhilaration similar to a swing ride for the first time.
Taking this project from dream to reality happened in record time -- less than one year. It's the result of a wholeheartedly committed team effort that has included the schools and Aimee White, who led the work of the Barrington Playground Committee, plus the city, library, Northwest Kiwanis Club, the Leadership UA Class of 2013 and others, along with many private donors.
Together, they have raised the approximately $175,000 necessary to purchase the playground elements and coordinated an entirely volunteer construction effort.
Which brings me to the crux of this week's article. More volunteers are needed to help build the playground.
If you are 16 years of age or older and you can dedicate a day of your time to the cause, your participation will be invaluable. No special construction skills needed -- just your enthusiasm.
Construction days are Wednesday, June 26; Thursday, June 27; and Friday, June 28, if needed, starting at 7 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m. All volunteers' refreshment needs will be met throughout the day, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are part of a team of people who are making a real difference in the lives of children with disabilities in our community.
For more details and to offer your services, you can email the coordinating team at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.SignUpGenius.com/go/9040E4BABAC2CA57-barrington.
Theodore J. Staton is Upper Arlington's city manager.