Owen's Playground at Hillcrest Elementary - Downers Grove, IL

 

Through hard work and perseverance, dreams can become a reality. On the first day of first grade at Hillcrest Elementary, Margaret Chaidez watched her son Owen ride off in his wheelchair to play with friends on the playground. After the children went inside, Chaidez didn’t see Owen and found him stuck behind one of the structures. That day she promised him she would find a way to create a playspace he could fully utilize, one that was safe and fun for all children. Enter Owen’s Playground for Children of All Abilities. This universally designed play environment has double-wide ramps, a Cruiser™ Wheelchair Accessible Rocker, sensory panels, overhead events and more - all with safety surfacing that accommodates wheelchairs and other mobility devices. Although at a school, Owen’s Playground is open to the community and is the perfect place to bring everyone, of all abilities, together.

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Cherry Hill Elementary

 

Many of Cherry Hill school’s new student population used wheelchairs or walkers and were unable to comfortably use their existing playground equipment. Further, there wasn’t an inclusive playspace within the community that they could use. The team at Cherry Hill School, led by Principal Emily Schissler, saw this as the perfect opportunity to bring play to all children, enhance their learning and help to get them moving physically. The Cherry Hill school team understands the importance of play and the role it has in development of everything from physical to emotional to cognitive skills.

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