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New all-inclusive playground in Central promotes unity for children of all abilities

2 months 1 week 18 hours ago Tuesday, March 19 2024 Mar 19, 2024 March 19, 2024 7:01 PM March 19, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

CENTRAL - Children's laughter filled the air on Tuesday afternoon as third grade students at Central Intermediate shared recess time with students from a special education class. 

In a bid to foster unity and inclusion, the Taylor Conrad Memorial Playground was opened to the public Monday. Named after a student who volunteered with children with disabilities at Central High School, the safe and stimulating environment was built with the needs of every child in mind. 

With wheelchair accessibility, children can move freely as they enjoy tactile sensory games, musical instruments and swings. 

The idea came about when Debbie Dougherty's granddaughter was diagnosed with autism. As an advocate for autism, Dougherty quickly realized recreational options for children like her granddaughter were limited.

After acquiring a grant of $650,000, Dougherty teamed up with the Central school system and Planet Recess to make her vision a reality. The playground was built adjacent to an original playground at the school to further promote interaction between parents and students alike. 

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