On Friday January 22nd 2015, Fr. Enzo Del Broco officially opened our very own playground in Kay Ste. Germaine with a blessing attended by all the staff and students. As many of you know, Kay Ste. Germaine is a school for children with special needs and this unique playground was specially built to cater for the needs of these children. Here we have children with cerebral palsy, down syndrome and autism. This necessitates the need for a playground that is specially adapted to children in wheelchairs, children with poor balance and children with other physiological impairments.
Fr. Enzo blessed the park on Friday, but the park is truly a blessing. While it was officially opened last week, we have been using the space since the children came back to school in September. From the get go, it was clear how much joy and fun it would bring into the children’s lives. Moreover, it will also play a role in the children’s development by fostering the emotional and physical development of the kids. When children play, they are learning – developing the capacities of their bodies, exploring the material world around them and navigating the complexities of social interaction
The playground includes equipment that physically and cognitively challenges children with a range of abilities. It consists of specially adapted slides and swings, and a wheel chair rocker that can accommodate two wheelchairs. Additionally, the park beside the playground also offers a space for children with sensory impairments, where they can engage with a variety of senses through activities with sand, water, soil, flowers, etc.
The parks design and functionality has also meant that it has become an area used for other activities. Over the past few months it has become an integral part of teamwork training for staff, while Fr. Enzo has also commenced gardening classes with small groups of students. These activities have revealed some of the unknown potential to the park which over time we hope will develop a greater sense of physical health education for those who come here.
We are all delighted and grateful for this new addition to Kay Germaine. The playground benefits all and will encourage inclusive play within the school regardless of the childs ability. The park and playground add a new dimension to the school and will allow the children here to play together in an environment that is not only fun, but will also give them greater opportunity to flourish