For most elementary-age students spending time on the playground is an important part of their day. But for some students at Simpson Elementary School, it meant sitting and watching while others played. The reason – the playground for the school’s special education students age 3 – 5 years old did not accommodate wheelchair-bound children.
“All they could do was sit, enjoy the weather and watch the other children play,” said Principal Bron Gayna Schmit.
This past spring the teachers began to formulate a plan – to find a way to raise enough money for a new playground that would be designed to accommodate wheelchairs and offer appropriately sized equipment for young children.
While the cost, $55,000, would seem insurmountable to some – it only brought out the best in this Peachtree Corners school staff and community.
Undaunted, Principal Schmit and her Pre-K staff secured permission to set up a Go Fund Me page and within just one month, had collected $50,000 of the $55,125 needed. A new site surrounded by tall pines was selected and eight weeks later, the playground, featuring a wheelchair accessible path and numerous interactive play elements suitable for the needs of the young students, was ready to open.
On Friday, Oct. 20, staff, Special Education students, parents, Gwinnett School dignitaries including Dr. Mary Kay Murphy Gwinnett County Board Member, Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason, Councilmember Lorri Christopher and other supporters gathered to celebrate the official opening of the new 8,000 square-foot playground with a ribbon-cutting event.
“Our students are the real benefactors of everyone’s generosity,” said Principal Schmit. “We are blessed to have so many supporters in the community and across the nation who donated to this wonderful cause.”
Courtesy of City of Peachtree Corners