We are a group of CRE parents, students, and staff, and Pueblo West community members who believe that individuals of all abilities should be able to enjoy outdoor play together with peers and family.
The primary goal for the playground project is to create a place that will bring children and families of all abilities together for play and relaxation. It will provide the opportunity for all children to play independently and cooperatively on the same playground. Studies have proven that integrated play helps develop fine and gross motor skills, receptive communication skills, cerebral functions, physical strength, coordination and balance, and social skills, including independence and self-esteem. Integrated play also gives typically-able children the opportunity to experience and accept their peers with special needs as equals, teaching the vital lessons of compassion, awareness, and acceptance. At Cedar Ridge, students will see their peers who have disabilities as they see themselves, and interact with them just as they would any other child, fostering a greater sense of community. Our desire is for compassion, awareness, and acceptance to spread from within the school, outside onto the playground and then, into the entire community.
Our desire is to resurface large portions of the play area, replacing the pea gravel with poured in place material and/or turf. By replacing the pea gravel, some safety issues stemming from the current pea gravel will be eliminated, while simultaneously making the play area more accessible to individuals with limited mobility. We also plan to repurpose and enhance existing playground equipment pieces. Several inclusive pieces (ramps and wide pathways) will be added to the current play structure and an additional bay to the existing swings which will then house 2 full-support seats. The current monkey bars will be relocated and pea gravel depth will be greatly enhanced to increase safety and decrease injury.
Once completed, the Cedar Ridge Elementary playground will welcome children of all abilities to play, learn, and grow together. The playground will also allow adults of varying ages and abilities to actively engage with children in their care. The CRE playground will be a truly multigenerational gathering space for community enjoyment, socialization, physical activities, and imaginative fun and will be accessible to all families across the county.
Our goal is to have the Playground Project fully funded by June, 2018. We are actively raising $25,000 in financial support through contributions made by individuals, small businesses, corporations and organizations. With adequate funding, groundbreaking will begin in late June, once the 2017-2018 school year has ended. We hope to have the newly renovated, fully assessable and inclusive playground ready for CRE students and the entire Pueblo West community to enjoy before the 2018-2019 school year begins.