If everything goes according to plan, Wadewitz Elementary School could have a new, inclusive playground by the start of the 2016-2017 school year.

A fundraising effort led by the Wadewitz PTA is hoping to raise $100,000 for construction of the playground, specially designed to take into consideration the various special needs of students. A gofundme.com page has been set up for 24 days and the fund has $790 of the $100,000 goal.

Current Wadewitz Elementary playground. (Photo credit: Wadewitz PTA Facebook)

Organizers say current playground equipment is about 30 years old and unusable by nearly 25 percent of the Wadewitz student body because it is inaccessible, consisting on a broken bridge, a couple of slides and old sand that doesn’t drain properly after it rains.

“A new playground is extremely important for meeting the needs of all our students,” the gofundme post reads. “Nearly a quarter of our student body has special needs, (and) we want all of our students to be fully included and able to enjoy recess.”

Wheelchair bound students are forced to remain on hard surfaces, which makes it hard for them to interact with and make connections with classmates, the description continues. More, because physical activity has been shown to have a positive impact on learning, organizers want to be sure that every student has the opportunity to play.

“Because we instill values of inclusiveness, respect, and diversity, it is vital that we get our students a new and inclusive playground,” the post reads. “Kids learn, interact and develop through play. Right now, our current playground lacks this tremendous learning opportunity for ALL children.”

Schulte Elementary School in Sturtevant in 2013 raised $40,000 for a new playground there, including $5,000 from Racine Unified.

Playground equipment is not typically funded by the school district past initial installation, and whether or not the district will kick in funding for Wadewitz is a question Racine County Eye asked RUSD. We will update this story when we hear from them.

To help Wadewitz reach their goal, donors can visit the playground’s gofundme.com page and/or can mail a check to: Wadewitz Elementary PTA, Wadewitz Elementary School, 2700 Yout Street, Racine, WI, 53404. Please note on the check that the money is for the playground.

All donations made directly to the school are tax deductible.


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