PlayCore, the leading company in play and recreation research, programming, and products, is proud to announce a recent Inclusion National Demonstration Site™ designation to a new playground at CHC Learning Center in Amherst, NY. The new playground, Rainbow Courtyard, was awarded this prestigious accolade for creating a play space for children of all abilities.
Beginning in 2013, the CHC Learning Center took on a three-year playground campaign in an effort to raise more than $185,000 to convert the school’s previous playground into a space for all children to play together.
“Our vision was to create a play environment with a smooth, poured in place protective rubber surface that allows easy access for individuals using a variety of mobility methods, along with innovative and interactive playground equipment that would allow students to play together,” explained Janice Gentz, Executive Director of CHC Learning Center.
Dedicated to past and current students, Rainbow Courtyard creates a truly inclusive space by addressing all areas of development including: cognitive, communicative, sensory, physical, and social/emotional.
To make this dream a reality, CHC Learning Center worked closely with several companies including MRC Recreation.
Linda Culliton from MRC Recreation stated, “Working with the dedicated staff at the CHC Learning Center has been the most enlightening experience of my playground design career. With input from all at the school, the playground embodies the meaning of inclusive play. The Center shares a courtyard play space with another school, and although almost all of the CHC students are in mobility devises, the staff chose to integrate the two student populations by choosing equipment that all children will enjoy. This encourages the interaction between their own students and the students of the other school to develop bonds and create truly a place for all children to play.”
PlayCore is proud to partner with leading experts at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities and Lekotek, to help communities provide meaningful, healthy play opportunities for everyone.
“Providing intergenerational, inclusive play ensures that all people experience the satisfaction of contributing to meaningful play and reap the lifelong developmental, physical, and social benefits of inclusion,” said Keith Christensen from Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities.
As a National Demonstration Site, the playground will receive a certificate of recognition, be placed on a national registry, and is promoted actively to other communities wishing to offer appropriate inclusive play programs to help share best practices.
About PlayCore: PlayCore helps build stronger communities around the world by advancing play through research, education, and partnerships. The company infuses this learning into its complete family of brands. PlayCore combines best practice in class planning and education programs with the most comprehensive array of recreation products available to create play solutions that match the unique needs of each community they serve. Learn more at www.playcore.com