Willoughby-Eastlake Schools plans to build adaptive play area at Royalview

After participating in and sponsoring community and district projects throughout the year, Willoughby-Eastlake School District Support Staff employees realized the need for an outdoor environment that would allow students with disabilities to interact with their peers.

With many support staff working with students with disabilities, they have understood the importance of providing an accessible space for all students while removing the physical barriers found on a typical playground, Nancy said. Knack, guidance secretary at North High School.

“At a membership meeting, members discussed our annual community engagement project and it was suggested that our special education student population would benefit from a space where they could experience the joy and fun of to be a child,” she said. “We made the unanimous decision to build an adaptive playground.”

A meeting was then scheduled with the members and Steve Johnson, Director of Operations and Security, where he surveyed the property at Royalview Primary School in Willowick and allocated an area for construction of the pitch. Heart Hub adaptive game.

“From that point on, we began reaching out to organizations that currently have playgrounds suitable for Americans with disabilities for information on how we could accomplish our mission,” Knack said. “We knew that this project would require a considerable amount of knowledge and considerable capital.

“We started contacting companies and people with knowledge in this field who could help us make this dream a reality.”

During various events that took place throughout the school district, support staff began talking with other staff and student groups about Heart Hub. It was this communication that prompted Eric Frei, Principal of North High School, to inquire about the donations of funds raised during Spirit Week in North and South High Schools.

North and South students collectively raised $21,624.22 under the leadership of Frei, South High Principal Brian Patrick and their advisors.

“We hope to break ground in the region in early spring 2023 and complete it by the start of the 2023-24 school year,” Knack said. “The playground will be the first of its kind for our students. Previously, there was no space dedicated to providing equipment created specifically to meet the physical limitations faced by some children.

Knack said the playground will provide a space for socializing and interaction with staff and peers that focuses on abilities rather than disabilities. In addition, the physical education teacher will also be able to have an outdoor space to use with the students.

“The Heart Hub’s goal is to empower all children to use their abilities to participate in outdoor activities with their peers while removing the physical barriers they face in many circumstances,” Knack said.

Harold B. McConnell