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A New Playground for The Kansas State School for the Blind

KANSAS CITY, KAN. (May 18, 2020) –Through the generosity of private donors and funds from the KC Blind All-Stars Foundation (KCBAS), the Kansas State School for the Blind (KSSB) will gain a new, fully accessible playground later this year. 

The new playground, which will cost approximately $200,000, replaces a 40-year-old one that no longer serves the needs of KSSB students. The playground will be handicapped accessible to meet the needs of a variety of differing ability levels.

“KSSB serves a diverse group of students, but every child at our school deserves to have physical fitness and play activities as part of their day,” said Jon Harding, Superintendent for KSSB. “In recent years, our outdoor play space has consisted mostly of a few older swings over crushed gravel. A ‘play place’ with tunnels was exposed to rain and bird nests were often found inside. During summer months, the surfaces were hot and the equipment was rarely used. A new, accessible playground will mean the world to our students who want to experience the simple thrills of swinging, sliding, or running in a safe, inviting play space. This space will be a welcome invitation to all parents and children who visit our campus in the coming years.”

The playground build is made possible by Let’s Play, an initiative by KaBOOM! and Keurig Dr Pepper, the Dunn Family Foundation, Stuggler’s Hill Neighborhood Group, BPU, the KC Sports Legacy Fund, BlueCross BlueShield of KC, the KC Blind All-Stars Foundation, and the Kansas State School for the Blind.

“The playground project has long been on the minds of many,” said John DeLeon, President of the KCBAS Board of Trustees. “Educators struggled with the lack of accessibility and parents struggled with safety. KCBAS is proud to announce the completion of planning and financing of the project. Through special community partnerships and private donations, an accessible, safe, and modern playground is soon to be a reality.” 

Students will be able to experience musical instruments and sensory panels in addition to play equipment. The playground will also feature a large shade awning for those who are light and heat sensitive, contrasting colors for safety, as well as a playground Braille map for orientation.  Equipment will include: 

  • Slide
  • Several different kinds of swings
  • Climbing blocks
  • We-saw 

The poured-in-place rubber surfacing will allow for cushion and safety indicator strips for those with low vision. The site is being completely excavated to make way for all new drainage, surfacing, and equipment.

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About the KC Blind All-Stars Foundation 

Founded in 1973, the KC Blind All-Stars Foundation seeks to imagine, execute, fund and support the needs and dreams of Blind and visually impaired youth who benefit from the Kansas State School for the Blind and the educators who believe in them. KCBAS is committed to helping Blind and visually impaired youth actualize their dreams and live their best lives. 

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