Crystal Bay Yard Improvement
Created October  5, 2010 by Pete Veurtjes
Crystal Bay Centre for Special Education is indeed a very special place to learn and grow. Our school has an enrollment of 88 students who have a variety of disabilities. All of our students have a moderate to severe developmental disability and the majority also have a second disability such as autism, physical disabilities, deafness, vision issues or blindness. As well we have students who are medically fragile or who have severe behavioral concerns that affect their safety or the safety of others. Despite the challenges these students face every day they come to school eager to learn and always amaze us with their resilience.
Crystal Bay is a regional school that serves the western half of the Ottawa District School Board. Students come from a variety of socio economic backgrounds and have a rich ethnic diversity. All students receive specialized transportation to our school; some from as far as 50 km away. Being a regional school we don’t have an immediate “community area” in which to fundraise and raise awareness of our issues.
Our biggest area of need continues to be the state of our main yard. The well being of our students is always foremost and we recognize that without the equipment and facilities, our students do not have the opportunities to enhance their physical fitness, socialization and communication skills.
It has been our goal for the past two years to improve the conditions of our school yard in order to improve the well being of our students. Currently our yard has a hill for tobogganing seasonally, a walking path and a sand area with a “snake” structure. There is no play structure to promote physical activity and improve gross motor skills. There is nothing for our many students in wheelchairs to do, other than wheel around the path. Due to the lack of stimulation and activities on our yard our students may engage in inappropriate behavior as well.
We would love to see a yard that is equipped with structures that are accessible to everyone. Our dream would be to install a main wheelchair friendly play structure that would include vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile activities; 5 to 6 mini stations around the main structure and rubberized matting so that even our most fragile students can participate. As an added touch we would like to add park benches and picnic tables that would encourage our students to interact socially and positively towards their peers and staff. As well, having “practice” in playing appropriately with this type of equipment would make it easier for the families to take their children to a park on the weekends and enjoy time outside as a family.
While we are absolutely committed to making this dream a reality, our ability to fundraise is on a small scale and it will take time. The Aviva fund would make our dream a reality in a very short time. As you can see, if we were to win this competition the benefits for our students would be enormous. Students need the opportunity and look forward to having an interactive yard where they can play, work in developing their social and communication skills, develop their fine and gross motor skills, and have fun!
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YOU CAN VOTE DAILY! SAVE IT AS ON YOUR "FAVOURITES" SO THAT WHEN YOU VOTE DAILY IT REALLY ONLY WILL TAKE 30 SECONDS OF YOUR TIME.