Fun is Very Accessible at a Playground in Argentina
Villa Regina Lions in Argentina volunteered at a school for disabled children and young adults, so the exhortation from the LCIF chairperson to help those with disabilities struck a chord. “Imagine the joy of a disabled child when a playground is built allowing them to finally participate in play,” then- LCIF Chairperson Wing-Kun Tam wrote in a newsletter to Lions in 2012.
The end result has been an accessible playground at Special Education School #5. The playground includes an accessible merry-go-round, multiple sets of swings and a teeter totter. There is also sensory equipment such as an elevated sandbox, a tactile panel, a sign language panel and a braille panel.
The playground was built thanks to an LCIF grant of US$17,211 and through funds raised by the Villa Regina Lions Club.
Special Education School #5 enrolls more than 100 students ages 6 to 25 with visual impairments, cognitive disabilities or physical disabilities. The school provides traditional learning tailored to their abilities as well as vocational training.
The school had no playground. In addition to providing recreation, playgrounds provide students with disabilities a rich opportunity for cognitive, social and emotional development.
Villa Regina Lions raised funds for the playground in a variety of ways including “Pedaling for a Dream,” a 24-hour bike-a-thon done in conjunction with local volunteer firefighters.
Villa Regina Lions often volunteer at the school. They take students for walks around the school’s property and also organize activities for the annual Children’s Day. Every August, Lions bring hot chocolate and sweet bread to the school and organize games for the children.
Thanks to Villa Regina Lions, students at Special Education School #5 now can learn and play among their peers, develop their life skills and discover the fun to be had on a playground.
This article was originally published in the May issue of LION Magazine.