A former tennis court at Cedar Springs Academy (CSA) on the campus of the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind has been repaved and repurposed into a free play zone.
“Students at CSA face additional challenges, such as limited mobility,” said Sam Hook, Executive Director of the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind Foundation. “Having the opportunity to exercise and play freely is a vital key to our students’ growth and well-being.”
The Freedom to Play project at the SCSDB Foundation provides students with free play spaces in safe, outdoor areas while being supervised. According to the Play and Playground Encyclopedia, free play is defined as unstructured, voluntary, child-initiated activity that allows children to develop their imaginations while exploring and experiencing the world around them. Movement and activity refine students' emotional, intellectual and behavioral development. Children with unstructured outdoor opportunities are likelier to try new moves while enhancing their physical and mental health.
“The students at Cedar Springs Academy thrive on opportunities to be outside in the sunshine, play on the playground and do gardening,” said Sarah Davis, Principal at CSA. “In the newly renovated Freedom to Play area, our students can roll around, race each other and play with their friends safely. We look forward to the opportunities to build independence, self-esteem, confidence and overcome challenges through play!”
Funding for the Freedom to Play project was provided by the Barbara Stone Foundation, Costco Wholesale, Foundation for the Carolinas - The Longleaf Fund and Wholespire.
“The South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind is so grateful for our community partners who have generously donated to our Freedom to Play project here at Cedar Springs Academy,” said Jolene Madison, President of SCSDB. “These organizations played an integral part in making the project possible.”