Moody School Installs First Ever ADA-Accessible Playground Equipment: ‘An Immediate Win’

A new inclusive piece of playground equipment was installed at Moody School in September 2019. (Courtesy photograph)

At Margin Street’s Moody School, that laughter and playground chatter passersby may hear at recess is sweet music to director Kristi-Lynn Craig’s ears. For the first time in the preschool’s history, a piece of ADA-compliant, inclusive playground equipment was installed at the school for all students to enjoy, using federal funding set aside by Community Development Director Andrew Herlihy.

Dubbed the “Pirate Ship” by students because it rocks back and forth, the new piece of equipment designed by Missouri-based Miracle Recreation was put in place late last month. Children can ride onto it with their wheelchairs and their more mobile peers can join in on the fun sitting next to them on benches, Craig tells WHAV.

“It was an immediate win the very first day,” Craig said. “We have several children in wheelchairs and right away, they were able to be on the equipment with their peers and they were laughing and smiling and all had this opportunity to engage on the same level playing field. It was really an incredible experience to see.”

Craig thanked Andrew Herlihy and her school’s parent teacher organization for their collaborative efforts in lobbying for the community development block grant earmark and arranging to get the gym equipment in place.

The Moody School community’s spirits have really been lifted both on and off the playground as a result, Craig tells WHAV.

“The playground for a lot of them is their highlight. That’s the main part of their day: They can’t wait to play,” the educator said. “I’ve seen that translate into the classroom where children are just excited to come into the building because they know that this thing they always look forward to is accessible, even to them.”

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