Some west metro kids are on a mission to provide fun for all
HOPKINS, Minn. -- At Glen Lake Elementary in Hopkins, the mission is spelled out: They want an accessible playground, and they want it bad.
The students and staff are going to great lengths to make the $300,000 dream come true. They are door knocking, cold calling, collecting coins and much more.
It's a shared mission, as student Nick Merhy - who doesn't use a wheelchair - explains.
"It's important for me to have this playground here so people in wheelchairs can have fun, too," Merhy said.
The current set-up leaves some out. John Buettner is a fifth grader who does use a wheelchair.
"I get this feeling of setback or like I'm not being able to do what I'm capable of doing. So I'm really excited about this new equipment," Buettner said.
Felix and Hiatt are also excited. They are kindergartners who use wheelchairs as well.
"I'm excited to spin on the merry-go-round." Felix said.
"I am excited to swing on the swings," Hiatt said.
Sher Unruh-Friesen is a teacher at Glen Lake Elementary.
"Something as simple as joining your friends on the swing and having a shared experience at the same time, it's going to be the great equalizer," Unruh-Friesen said. "We're very excited about it."
Eight kids at the school use wheelchairs, but 460 are making sure they can use the playground. Buettner says it means so much to have so many kids rally the cause.
"I appreciate these people very much because they went out of their way just to help people that feel differently everyday," he said.
They just met their first goal, for the $35,000 merry-go-round. They are a step closer to a playground for every body, and every soul. Buettner says it makes him emotional.
"I feel very loved," he said.
If this dream comes true and the playground project gets funded, it will be open to anyone in the area who wants to come play.
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