The Glen Lake Accessible Playground Project
My name is Erika Vogel. I am a former Glen Lake Parent. I am passionate about ensuring each child feels welcomed and included. So when I was asked to be on the playground committee, it was a resounding YES! With every great committee, there is a fearless leader. I want to introduce you to Betsy Julien. Please take a moment to hear what she has to say:
My name is Betsy Julien. I am a teacher and parent in the Hopkins School District in Minnesota. I teach at a small community school called Glen Lake Elementary! Many of my friends went there growing up, and now my own kiddos go there as well. It's a magical school that around 460 students attend, and 8 of those students are in a wheelchair (one being our youngest child, Luke).
The Glen Lake Accessible Playground Project is a teacher, student, and staff lead initiative with the goal of creating a new and fully accessible playground. Key features include a wheelchair swing and merry-go-round. This will create equitable play opportunities to grow connections and friendships between students who use wheelchairs, and their peers. Accessible equipment will greatly enhance the recess and general outdoor experience for our students who use wheelchairs AND be an incredible asset to our community.
One of Hopkins Public Schools' core values is authentic inclusivity. When we create environments and spaces that allow everyone to participate, we tap into our humanity by modeling empathy for others. This is a tremendous skill for our students to build and will inspire each student to reach their full potential while making the world a better place.
Our students' original DREAM BIG wish was to raise $300,000. At this level, we are able to install a wheelchair swing, merry-go-round, and a poured in rubber surface throughout the current playground. With the help of friends and family, local businesses, community members, and donors, we not only met our goal, but surpassed it. Amazing!!
They now have an even bigger goal - to raise enough funds to build a fully accessible upper playground. Our students are thinking creatively when imagining the possibilities. Ideas include ramps throughout so students can access ALL areas of the playground, sun shades for students who are sensitive to light, lowered basketball hoops so all can play the game... the ideas are limitless!
We've created 3 NEW wish amounts!
$700,000 to fund a fully accessible upper playground!
$775,000 to fund an additional accessible area near the grades 1/2 wing of the school and also to allow wheelchair access to the outdoor classroom.
$900,000 to fund a wheelchair swing and merry-go-round at our neighboring school, Gatewood!
$5000+ Giving Level:
- Your name will be displayed on our Welcome Sign AND on an individual medallion that will be hidden throughout the playground (think Hide and Seek).
- Your name will be engraved on the merry-go-round.
Inclusive playgrounds are rare and hard to find in the cities, AND they are so expensive to put in. Having a fully inclusive playground would not only be a huge asset to our school, but it would also be an amazing addition to our community!
I believe in the power of sharing our story! I share this story with you, asking if you'd be willing to partner with us! Donors will be recognized in a variety of creative ways throughout the school and the playground.
Donations can be made in 3 different ways:
- Checks can be made out to Glen Lake PTO and mailed to our school, 4801 Woodridge Road
- Online at our PTO site https://www.glenlakepto.org/glen-lake-accessibility-project
- On this Go Fund Me page
All money donated will be used for our Glen Lake Accessible Playground Project
Thank you for your partnership and THANK YOU for listening to our story. All of our students at Glen Lake Elementary thank you in advance!
Betsy Julien (and all our students at Glen Lake Elementary School)
One The Road with Steve Hartman:
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Organizer and beneficiary