STONEVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — Recess is a cherished part of children’s school day.
It’s a time to learn and play for kids, but some students at Stoneville Elementary don’t get the same opportunities as others.
Two women are determined to change that.
Dollie Trant, the president of the PTO at Stoneville, and Dana Tucker, who teaches in the exceptional needs classroom, know the hardships that the students in Stoneville Elementary’s Exceptional Needs and Functional Skills classroom face every day.
“They say we want to go outside and we can take a few of them out but there’s no way we can bring 13 kids out here the way it’s set up and their needs and keep them safe,” Tucker said.
“Some people may take it lightly that they’re able to just walk out and get on a swing…but unfortunately we have some students who aren’t able to do that,” Dollie Trant said.
The current playground is dirt and mulch based, which limits access for the thirteen students with varying disabilities from enjoying outdoor recess, which in turn deprives them of crucial development.
“Allowing a child to be on a playground they learn social skills, how to interact, problem-solving, they learn how to treat their peers and that’s so important when they advance on in life,” Traint said.
Trant and Tucker want to make accessibility at Stoneville Elementary more than a dream.
“I said why go small? Let’s go big or go home… let’s give them the playground they deserve,” Trant said.
“She said ‘Girl we just aren’t going to get you a swing we are going to get you a playground!'” Tucker said.
They started a GoFundMe to help fund the playground project, but big plans come with big costs, and to redo the playgrounds to make them more accessible will cost $200,000. This will cover wheelchair-accessible swings and help improve the ground.
This would also include safety features like improved fencing because the playground is next to a busy road.
“As we get more students with more severe needs we HAVE to make accommodations to meet those needs of the students,” Tucker said. “We are not just a school we are a family.”
“Every child deserves the chance to play together.”
The Stoneville Elementary School PTO has a GoFundMe to help with their efforts to raise money for the updated playground.