School raises funds for handicap accessible playground

GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - Recess is the time of the school day when children get to take a break and go play, but for some students, it is the time they sit on the sidelines to watch others have fun.

One Lowcountry school is now on a mission to help students with handicaps or disabilities have a special playground to use.

Gina Brugh says the Special Olympics at Westview Primary is a great opportunity for special needs students like her son, Noah, to be active at school, but she would like to see him and other students be able to use the playground.

"It's very hard because they need that time to get out and play. It helps stimulate them, give them a break from the regular classroom structure," Brugh said.

Karen Poston, a teacher at the school, says that after the death of her grandson, Christian, who was born with a skeletal disorder, she has made it a mission to raise money for an adaptive playground.

"We're looking for high back swing chairs so our children that need that support and the back support will be able to swing, wheelchair swing, a large piece of equipment that will have ramps that go up, covered flooring like the miracle league has so our children in wheelchairs and walkers will be able to use those," Poston said.

Poston says after realizing the need, she and another teacher started the "Promoting Awareness and Learning Service" or PALS Committee, to raise the needed $75,000 to build a playground.

Parents say for these students, events like the Special Olympics or getting a special playground, truly makes a difference.

"There's always going to be kids that need that special adaptive playground, and whether it's my child or another child, the main goal is to have all the children included," Brugh said.

Since the teachers started the PALS Committee a year ago, they have raise about $10,000 toward their goal of an adaptive playground.

Westview Primary has a student population of more than 800 with more than 100 of those students who are special needs. For more information visit the school's website.

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