At Fairhope Intermediate School, two years of fundraising, planning and building have created a brand new inclusive playground that all of the school’s students can use and enjoy.
School officials and community leaders gathered together Monday morning at the school for a ribbon cutting for the playground, which has adjustments and amenities so that it can be used by students with special needs, who previously had no playground they could use on the campus.
The project was spearheaded by Fairhope Intermediate special education teacher Brittany Boone Luckie, who helped get community support and backing to raise almost $50,000 to cover the costs of the project.
Luckie said she had the idea for the project and approached former Fairhope City Community Affairs Director Sherry Sullivan for help in kicking it off. Sullivan got Luckie in touch with playground developers Game Time and with the Fairhope Rotary Club, who was a major donor to the project.
“The playground is engaging with a good mix of active and quiet areas,” Luckie said. “The swings, slides, climbing, spinning and rocking my kids get to enjoy have both physical and cognitive benefits. We just really needed a place for my kids to be kids, and I am over the moon I had so much help and support with this dream.”
School leaders were also thankful for the community’s support.
“Without that strong collaboration and this community, this would not have happened,” Carol Broughton, FIS principal, said. “We are very grateful for all the help.”
Luckie said she’s already able to see the difference that the new playground is making in the lives of her students.
“By playing, my kids are able to progress language, symbolic thinking, social skills and motor skills,” Luckie said. “These effects can be seen by watching the kids play with each other and with their typical peers. It was important to me that the playground accommodate kids of all abilities and developmental levels because I wanted an inclusive playground that allowed my kids to engage in play so everyone can have fun.”
Donors to the project included the Fairhope Rotary Club, FEEF, Baldwin County United Way, Cooper Fencing, SLR Landscaping, Fairhope Councilman Kevin Boone, Morgan Accurst, Bob McGough, Debbie Fant and Fairhope Intermediate staff.