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Suncrest students returning to more accessible playground

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FOUR SQUARE: Suncrest Elementary has newly painted four square courts that make the playground more welcoming to students with disabilities. Healthy Communities of Clinton County Coalitiondid the project with a grant from the Indiana State Department of Health.
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Playground: Suncrest Elementary’s playground has been upgraded to make it more welcoming to students with disabilities. Healthy Communities of Clinton County Coalitiondid the project witha grant from the Indiana State Department of Health.

BY SHARON BARDONNER - sbardonner@ftimes.com

When students get to Suncrest Elementary on Wednesday for their first day of the new school year, they’ll be greeted by a multi-colored, more accessible playground made possible by Healthy Communities of Clinton County Coalition and a Physical Activity Grant from the Indiana State Department of Health.

The upgrades make it easier for disabled students to use the playground and enjoy it more, said Lorra Archibald, executive director of HCCCC.

HCCCC will also be putting down 18-inch-square rubber pavers to create a flat surface over the mulch that now makes it tough to roll a wheelchair right up to Suncrest’s adaptive swing.

“When the pavers are installed, you’ll be able to roll a wheelchair right across them and help a child into the swing from there,” Archibald explained.

Also, large, colorful squares have been painted to create foursquare courts large enough so kids in wheelchairs can play.

Handicapped kids will be able to play hopscotch, too, using the painted path also made possible with the stencils purchased with the ISDH grant. 

HCCCC also painted a new tetherball court as well as Suncrest’s greenhouse and shed, according to Archibald. 

The great thing about the grant is that the same stencils can be used at all the county schools, she noted, and plans are already in the works to paint the accessible games onto the paved playground areas at three other elementary schools.

Archibald’s niece, Nissa Freestone, will be painting the playground at Clinton Prairie Elementary as a project for Girls Scouts, and, for their upcoming community work day, the employees at IU Health Frankfort Hospital will be painting the playground at Blue Ridge Elementary and Green Meadows Intermediate, Archibald said.