Long community celebrates grass-roots effort to create accessible playground

Long Elementary School parent leaders, students and staff celebrate the opening of the school's accessible playground.

Long Elementary School parent leaders, students and staff celebrate the opening of the school’s accessible playground.

Long Elementary School parents, students and staff wrapped up two years of grass-roots fundraising efforts Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting celebration on their accessible playground.

School parent leaders, students and staff gathered to cut a ribbon on their long-awaited playground upgrades, which will finally allow all students to play together outside without any limitations. Members of the school community found creative ways to raise $35,000 over two years to help cover of the cost of installing a rubberized surface around all of the play equipment.

Students held lemonade stands, organized garage sales and asked for donations instead of birthday gifts. In addition, parents on the Long Playground Committee solicited donations from community members, sponsored a face-painting booth at Crestwood’s Food Truck Party on the Plaza and raised close to $5,000 on a YouCaring.com fundraising site.

“I am so proud of our students and parents who committed their time and efforts to a cause so close to our hearts,” Principal Jana Parker stated in a news release. “We firmly believe that there is no challenge we cannot overcome when it is in the best interest of our students. #kidsdeserveit!”

Last year, Concord Elementary School students and parents raised money to make their playground all-inclusive as well. Lindbergh Schools has committed to supplementing these fundraising efforts as part of annual planned accessible improvement plan for all elementary schools, the release stated.