Jefferson City School Close to Winning Grant Money for a New Playground

8 years 1 month 2 weeks ago Tuesday, August 31 2010 Aug 31, 2010 Tuesday, August 31, 2010 8:29:38 PM CDT August 31, 2010 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The voting to award 10 organizations or projects each with $50,000 grants began August 1 and ends promptly at midnight on August 31st. Votes have been pouring into the Pepsi Refresh Project from all over Missouri to move The Special Learning Center to second place by the last day of voting, all but guaranteeing it grant money.  The school hopes to use the money to build a playground for children with special needs.

Heather Renkemeyer, a parent who also works at the Special Learning Center, submitted the grant for the school. Her daughter is in a wheel chair and used to go to school there, "Even though she is no longer here, just to know that other children like her will have that opportunity is very, very rewarding." Renkemeyer knew how it important it was to get the communities support behind them to vote for the idea on the website and see it through to the end. But it was her daughter who reminded her just how important a new additions would be, "She had very little to do when she was on this playground, and now once we have all of these things redone, these kids will have so much to do."

The grant money will allow the Special Learning Center to add ramps, wheelchair swings, slides, sand and water tables, and play panels and much more. It's goal is to make it accessible for all children, including those with mobility and sensor issues. Donna Downing, a teacher, says the playground is a central place for learning at their school, like the "motor development and all of their language." She considers the children's recess time, "a real important part of all of our kids day, the social part."

The Special Learning Center serves more than 600 children from more than 14 different school districts. Many children come from an hours drive away to attend.

    

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