Big Ideas: $100,000

Description

The current playground at Hampton Elementary School was built in 1995 and is at the end of its useful life. The play structure is located within a raised frame filled with pea gravel which does not allow accessibility to any students, teachers or community members with disabilities. The structure itself is in poor repair with many rusted pieces of metal, broken slides and missing boards. Injuries are a concern on a daily basis for the 272 students using this playground.
Our vision is create a play ground that can be used by people of all ability levels. In the Town of Hampton there are currently 5 playgrounds - none of which offer accessibility. Our goal is to build a playground with a wood chip base and bonded wood carpet pathways making all elements accessible. We want to incorporate ground level play pieces including musical instruments that will engage everyone. An accessible zipline, a saucer swing, an O'Tannenbaum spinner and an accessible classroom are also top priorities for this project.
The Hampton Elementary School playground is located in the heart of the community. Situated next to our accessible trail system, the soccer field, baseball field, community pool and community arena, this playground is likely the most used playground year round in the Town of Hampton. During the school year there are students on the playground during school hours and after school through day care and after school programs. In the summer the playground is used by Camp Ossey; the town supported day camp program, and families during soccer and baseball practice and in between swimming lessons.
Play is important for all children in order to develop their overall physical, mental and social health. Physical play allows children to strengthen their bodies and improve coordination. 38% of Canadian children with a disability almost never get physical exercise after school, compared with 10% of typically developing children (Physical and Health Education Canada 2013) The social development of a child is of equal importance. Playing together allows children to become better together. It allows children to learn communication skills, to problem solve, to express feelings, to stand up for themselves, and to manage conflict, ultimately becoming more resilient as they face life's inevitable challenges. An inclusive play space allows children of all abilities to play side by side where they can learn to accept and appreciate their similarities and differences. 'Studies show that children are more likely to invite a child with a physical disability to join a play activity when the disability interferes minimally with their participation. An accessible playground therefore increases the likelihood of inclusive play, which in turn generates an early appreciation of diversity and inclusion.' (Rick Hansen Foundation www.rickhansen.com)
An accessible playground will allow teachers with a physical disability to participate in playground supervision where they otherwise could not participate. Parents, grandparents and community members with disabilities will be able to play together with their children creating strong, positive, lasting memories together.

Hampton Community Club

Location: Hampton