Westside Elementary Wins Inclusive Playground Grant

westsideThe Oklahoma City Community Foundation announced that Claremore Westside Elementary School was awarded a grant from the Donna Nigh Foundation to purchase playground equipment that will build an inclusive community and playground for special needs children.

Principal Traci Thomas said the school is thrilled to receive this grant award. “We have so many children with special needs and our current playground equipment doesn’t allow most of them the opportunity to have active play and interact with other students. This grant, along with community donations of playground cover and volunteers, will help our school, and particularly playground, be more inclusive. We are already in the process of working with an inclusive playground company to get this project started.”

Assisting with the grant writing process was Sooner Success Region 2 Rogers and Tulsa county coordinator, and Rogers County Coalition immediate past-president, Crystal Campbell. The two of them met with the principal, school counselors and special education teachers, to determine needs for the school and how the DNF grant might fit that needed. During this meeting, it was mentioned that the school’s special needs student population had dramatically increased, and that the current playground equipment for those students was inadequate.

 “I want to thank Westside staff, Sooner Success and the Rogers County Coalition, particularly Tonda and Crystal, for helping us write and gather information for this great. I truly appreciate the effort and time they spent, as well as their passion for helping special needs children,” said Thomas.

 The next deadline for the Donna Nigh Foundation Grant is April 1, 2016. For more information, visit the Oklahoma City Community Foundation website.

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