Full inclusion playground opens at PCES

Published 8:05 pm Friday, March 10, 2023

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Pike County Elementary School in Brundidge officially opened its full inclusion playground on Friday afternoon.

Principal Rodney Drish said the new playground is designed for students with special needs and safety is first and foremost in its design.

Tiffany Countrymann, special education teacher, said the new playground is designed for students with special needs but it is a full inclusion playground so all students will benefit.

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“Everything about the playground was designed for exercise and play with safety in mind,” Countrymann said, adding that an inclusive playground takes away both the physical and social barriers to exclusion and encourages active and independent play.

“It took one student, who was afraid of coming down the slide, a while to climb the ladder but, after watching how much fun the other children were having, he came sliding down, slowly, but he made it. Then, he tried again. Now, he’s up and down the slide all the time.”

Countrymann said the entire playground was designed for fun play with safety in mind from the floor to the tops of the posts.

“I am so appreciative of the full inclusive playground for special needs students,” she said. “It is making a difference in how they play. They are having fun they would not be able to have otherwise and I feel much more comfortable with the children at playtime.”

Countrymann said the children are also having fun playing together and the socialization is important.

“I can see more interaction among all the children and it’s good to see them having fun on the playground and with each other.”