CGES Opens Inclusive Playground

Cottage Grove Elementary Opens Inclusive Playground
Posted on 10/22/2020
This fall, students at Cottage Grove Elementary SchoolFull playground (CGES) returned to a new inclusive and accessible playground. It was made possible after Ainsley K., a student at CGES, wrote a letter to Principal Theresa Blume-Thole, asking to make the playground accessible for her friend who uses a wheelchair. Principal Blume brought this idea and letter to South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) administration, who approved the request.

“Inclusive playgrounds create community engagement across diverse groups of students and encourage children to gain confidence and skills while promoting a healthy lifestyle,” said Theresa Blume-Thole.

Sign SwingThe accessible playground includes a wide range of design elements such as movement, sound, texture and versatility to allow all students to interact with the structures and other children.

“Because of Ainsley’s letter, we now have a better repair and maintenance system in place for every playground structure in the district,” said Director of Facilities Kwame Ayim. “All of our elementary schools need accessible playgrounds.”

The accessible playground at CGES is the beginning of a SoWashCo long-term facilities plan to update all elementary school playgrounds with accessible equipment.