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HALVERSON INCLUSIVE PLAYGROUND. The beginning…. In order for kids with physical limitations to be able to interact with others, Albert Lea families had to travel to Mankato, Rochester, or the Twin Cities to find a playground that allowed for this type of play.

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  2. The beginning… In order for kids with physical limitations to be able to interact with others, Albert Lea families had to travel to Mankato, Rochester, or the Twin Cities to find a playground that allowed for this type of play. The dream was born… let’s improve what exists and add a swing to each school. In 2010, there was only one swing, located at Sibley Elementary, that would accommodate students with physical needs. Our hope was to make Albert Lea a destination where families can play together.

  3. Service Club Donations Kristine Irvine and Becky Rognes met with several local service clubs. Their goal was to purchase a swing for each of the three schools that currently did not have one. At this same time, Jay Hutchison, director of Park and Rec, contacted Kristine and Becky about adding swings to the public parks. Each adaptive swing costs $625. In May 2010, the Special Education Advisory Board received the first donation of many to install a swing at Halverson Elementary. A few handy members of the Kiwanis clubs volunteered to construct and donate four wheelchair-accessible picnic tables. They currently exist at Halverson, Southwest, and Edgewater. The fourth was at Hawthorne but has been destroyed due to vandalism.

  4. The result…

  5. “We will be back…” The SEAC committee made it clear to the Service Clubs that their dream was an entire playground. So, they promised to be back for more financial contributions when the time came.

  6. Edgewater Park was next… Even though some of the other Albert Lea parks contain adaptive equipment, they are not accessible due to the surface material. This was still a major concern to the SEAC board. Park and Rec was in the process of building the new pavilion and playground at Edgewater Park. Kristine Irvine and Becky Rognes approached the city and discussed the option of adding more inclusive equipment. The park now has sensory walls and two adaptive swings that are fully accessible to all, funded by Kristine and Becky’s fundraising.

  7. And the dream got bigger… • Halverson Elementary had a surplus that the students raised in 2010. The PTO had always wanted to update the playground, since it has had many years of hard use… our husbands remember playing on it. And they are old! • SEAC heard about Halverson, and Halverson heard about SEAC. We decided to join forces and create one fantastic playground.

  8. Walk-A-Thons… The main fundraising for the playground was the annual Halverson Elementary Walk-a-thon. In past years, kids sold pizzas, gift wrap, chocolates; you name it, we sold it! Parents were not thrilled with the items, and we found more and more families just donating money instead of purchasing. So we borrowed the idea from Lakeview and began our annual walk-a-thons.

  9. $36,402 of the $42,691 has been raised… Still in need of $6,289 $1,063 Community Nights Out $10,000 Kenneth Olson Grant $3,000 AL-FC Chamber Foundation $6,491 Local Business Donations $15,848 Walk-a-thons

  10. Every little bit helps… From the large donations to the small, it all adds up. Every dollar that is donated turns into something big when added together. We thank the little grandpa who walked in and gave SEAC a $20 bill for the cause.

  11. Where we go from here… • Halverson Elementary has two grants in the works. One is from Mayo Health Systems- Albert Lea and the other is from Alliant Energy. We are hopeful but realistic that others, too, are seeking these funds. • District 241 has verbally committed to $5,000 each year 2014-2015 and 2015-2016. Let’s make a deal! How about one check now for $5,000? This would seal the deal and help Halverson install the playground without running a deficit.

  12. By the numbers… District 241 has 658 students identified with disabilities - 547 are ages 6-21 - 88 are ages 3-5 - 23 are ages birth-2 - 12 students in wheelchairs or with other physical handicaps This playground will bring all families in our district as well as surrounding communities to gather and play together. We no longer exclude any body- student, parent, or grandparent.

  13. The result… • Landscape Structures (Delano, MN) started the playground installation this morning. We have 46 posts set in concrete, ready to go tomorrow. • Larson Contracting has donated both labor and materials for the installation process. This project would not get completed without the help of this wonderful company!

  14. What are your plans for tomorrow? We have invited a few community members to help with the raising of the playground. We encourage any of our school board members, district employees, and especially Steve Anderson, to bring a shovel and muscle power to help us finish this project.

  15. Thursday, September 26, 2013 • Halverson Elementary will hold their annual Walk-A-Thon. • Upon return, students will get to play on the playground for the FIRST TIME! • At 1:30PM, we will have a ribbon cutting ceremony. Please join us if you are able! All business donors and the entire Halverson community will be invited to attend.

  16. This is why we do it… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-S3p4h1poo&sns=em • With the support of our community, we are • SO THANKFUL • to be able to build a playground that replaces limitations with unlimited possibilities!

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