Offbeat Girl creates playground where every child can play

10:37  09 september  2017
10:37  09 september  2017 Source:   USA TODAY

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To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs. Girl creates playground where every child can play . Astrid Hacker, The (Louisville) Courier-Journal Published 8:32 a.m. ET Sept.

Magical Bridge Playground where everyone can play . August 6, 2015,AEST. The Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto, California is one of the nation’s most innovative inclusive playgrounds — allowing every child and every parent the opportunity to play .

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VINE GROVE, KY - At 9 years old, Rachel Ritchie realized as she played on the playground with her friends there were several children that had to sit out.

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Playgrounds are a place for laughter, friends and fun where all children and their families can play together regardless of their abilities. The City of Avon is heading up a collaborative effort to create a new, destination playground that will inspire kids to forego their “screens” and get out and play .

Children play on the inclusive playground at Toomer Elementary School in Atlanta. The playground has a soft, rubbery surface where falls are easier to recover from and wheelchairs can roll freely by. Toys are at lower heights and every activity can stimulate all five senses.

“I thought it wasn’t fair, I was like why should they have to sit out while me and my friends can play. I want to be friends with them, I want to play alongside them,” Rachel, who is now 13, recalled.

That incident sparked the idea to build a playground in her hometown of Vine Grove, Kentucky, built specifically to accommodate children of all abilities. Rachel took this idea, named it Rachel’s Fun for Everyone Project, presented it to city leaders and raised the funds with the help of her community to make her dream a reality. Five years later, with the governor, friends, family and community supporters, Rachel cut the ribbon to open her playground to the children she said have kept her motivated from the beginning.

As a 13-year-old opening the playground that her 9-year-old self only imagined Rachel says is very surreal.

“Whatever I go on to do in my career path I want to continue to help people and I want to continue to make my world a better place,” she said.

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