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Playground needed for kids with special needs

Posted at 5:10 PM, May 10, 2019

RUSSIAVILLE — All kids need playgrounds. Special needs children need special playgrounds.

Currently, there is no such playground for the 70 special needs students at Western Primary School in Russiaville.

Eight-year-old Chloe Sabados has cerebral palsy. She was pushing the wheelchair of fellow eight-year-old, Ira Evans, who has spina bifida. They are attempting to access the playground at Western Primary School.

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But as you can tell, the going is tough on the gravel surface.

A campaign has been started to raise $120,000 for this special needs playground.

"We definitely need help for our children to be able to have a special needs playground," Erin Sabados, a parent, said. "So, everybody can have the same chance to go out and have fun."

On a normal school day, this is what recess looks like, inside, on the gym floor, with no fresh air.

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The configuration and construction of the special needs playground are essential.

"We need an area on the ground that is cushion-y in case they fall. The fence is very, very important. I just want our kids to have the same opportunities as the rest of the population in the school," Tricia Harlow, Western Primary School gym teacher, said. "There is nothing like fresh air and sunshine for our kids. I just want them to have the same thing."

So far $38,000 has been raised. Ira's father, David Evans, is fired up about the fundraising effort.

"I think it is a very worthy cause. It brings so many smiles to so many different kids," Evans said. "It's such a great thing that Mrs. Harlow is doing, raising money for this playground."

Ira has asked the community:

"Can you please donate for the playground?"

That would make all of these kids happy.

The school district does not budget for a special needs playground. If you would like to donate to the effort, you can send checks to The Western School Corporation at 2600 South 600 West Russiaville, Indiana 46979.