Public-private funds make Brentwood playground a reality - May 11, 2007

Record Number: 3164
Displayed from: May 11, 2007 , until: May 21, 2007

Area high school students from Snider, Northrop and North Side will return to Brentwood Elementary school this weekend to help install the area's only playground to be completely handicap accessible. Six years in the making, the playground is the product of an unusual combination of funding from the Fort Wayne Parks Department, the Brentwood Community Association, FWCS and even a Brentwood first grader who took it upon herself to raise more than a $1,000 from area residents. The idea for city funding originated with Brentwood principal Get Nichols and a chance visit to Chicago. "I had some extra time, and noticed a particularly nice playground at an urban school. I went inside and found out it was built by the Chicago Parks Department. I thought, 'If they can do this in Chicago, why can't we do it in Fort Wayne?'" She approached the Fort Wayne Parks Department which recognized the need for a playground accessible to children of all abilities and agreed to a $25,000 grant. "We average four to six students each year in wheelchairs and 32 percent of our students have special needs," Nichols explains. "Now our students and children around the neighborhood can access virtually all the equipment." Installation details: Saturday, May 12 and Saturday, May 19 8 a.m to 5 p.m. Brentwood Elementary School 3710 Stafford Drive

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.