1. June - Jamie takes the bus home from school and it would pass by the Kate's Kause park on the way home. He came home super excited one day when the diggers had started their excavating (thanks to Uncle Rick and Martin's Excavating!). He told me all about the big hole at the Kate's Kause park. I can just imagine him sitting on the bus and looking out the window at Gibson park and associating all of that wonder with his sister. What a great kid!
2. Jamie is always meeting people at the park. He enjoys seeing many of his school friends and neighbours each time he is there. He also likes meeting new people. I love how he tells us about his "friends" at the park. He calls everyone his friend. It's awesome.
3. July - The first time we took the kids to the park after the sod had been laid, we put Kate on the completed flooring and she went right into a bear walk stance. We had never seen her do it before. The playground encouraged her to do more right away.
4. Kate's favourite elements: roller slide, swings, omni spin (updated and accessible Merry-go-round). Jamie's favourite elements: everything. He is becoming more adventurous every time and looks for people to meet or kids he already knows every day. By August, he has mastered the challenging ladders of the 5-12 year old structure. It's awesome!
5. Inclusion and education for EVERYONE. By August, Kate could complete a circuit of the roller slide, which means she could continually do the roller slide over and over again because she can climb up the steps at the transfer station. Kate goes down the roller slide head first on her tummy ALL BY HERSELF. It's one of the most wonderful things I've ever seen. She'll do this for an entire hour and her father and I are never bored watching her. Kids we've never met before go down the roller slide with her. One girl even went on her tummy side by side Kate, both of them giggling the whole way down. This is inclusion and the feeling it gives us is better than I ever could have imagined. I love what the playground has done for our family and the community kids. We are all growing up together, no matter our differences. It's a small piece of heaven. How is it that a little town called Elmira is a leader in inclusion? It's because we have a great community.
Kelly is Kate's devoted, caring, Type-A mom. Kelly is a high school physics teacher who earned her masters degree in neuroscience from McMaster University in 2003.