The first phase to improve a playground for special needs kids is complete. Monday, the Special Kids Care Learning Center unveiled its new wheelchair accessible music garden.
For months, the center had been trying to raise money to build a new playground suitable for everyone. They said cutting the ribbon was great, but it was the smiling faces they were most excited to see.
In June, representatives said the playground was in such bad shape that mobile children had little they could do. As for children in wheelchairs, like 8-year-old Jeremiah, they could only watch, but that’s not the case anymore.
“This is tremendous for him because he gets to participate in the play," said Jeremiah’s mother, Tinesha Seymore.
He, along with so many other kids, was the inspiration behind the new music garden.
Joanne Williams with Special Kids Care Learning Center said, "Our dream was to create a playground where every child can play and no child is sitting on the sidelines."
In June, there wasn’t much - aside from one swing and a few toys - at the Special Kids Care playground. But after our report aired, donations came in, and now kids who walk and kids who ride are able to beat out a tune.
"I want to be able to know my kids have a place to play and have a place that's safe, and be able to be interactive with the other kids as well as the staff," Seymore said.
Getting this portion of the playground finished was a group effort - done with donations by people like Jeremy Ruiz and companies like OK Chive.
"Special kids have always had a special place in my heart and my kid’s heart; and just knowing that we put a smile on their face just made it worthwhile for all of us," Ruiz said.
Representatives said this is a great start, but there's still so much that needs to be done.
The plan is to put in a full-sized play set, new swings and, ultimately, make the whole area wheelchair accessible.
Daycare organizers said that while some of their children do things differently, they want to make friends and have fun just like everyone else.
"And kids, regardless, have the same dreams that all of us have. They want to be a part of, they want to be included and feel that friendship," Williams said.
The playground is expected to be finished by next summer.
Several fundraisers will be held over time. The first is September 12 where the Raising Canes on Yale in Tulsa will donate 15 percent of sales to the daycare.
If you'd like to help, you can visit the Special Kids Care website.