How a group of kids campaigned to get their classmate an accessible playground
Brooke Durnford is getting new mats and a special swing at her Burgeo school
A kindergarten student living with cerebral palsy will be having a lot more fun on the playground this fall, thanks to an inspired letter-writing campaign by some of her classmates.
Burgeo Academy student Brooke Durnford uses a wheelchair, which means she has a difficult time using the school's equipment.
I don't like it. It makes me feel that the world is just going to fall because people can't do fun things.- Dexter Organ
Most of it isn't fit to accommodate her disability, so she usually has to sit and watch while her friends play.
But when Paige Hann and Dexter Organ's Grade 2/3 class at Burgeo Academy noticed she wasn't getting to join the rest of the kids at school, they took action.
"We saw that when it was recess Brooke couldn't really play with us and get around easily," said Paige. "She was only able to go on the seesaw and climb up the steps of the set."
"I don't like it," said Dexter. "It makes me feel that the world is just going to fall because people can't do fun things."
Wrote to government
Dexter and Paige reached out to their teacher, Karen Banfield-Hare, to see what they could do and decided to write to the government and ask for a playground that would fit Brooke's needs.
With Banfield-Hare's help, they reached out to Burgeo town council and local MHA Andrew Parsons and were surprised when they heard a few weeks later that their request was approved.
"They always have lots of great ideas and I find if you listen to children, and actually really listen to them and take their ideas seriously, you'll come up with some pretty incredible results," said Banfield-Hare.
With files from the Corner Brook Morning Show