KINGSPORT — Ever since Janice Irvin become principal of Kennedy Elementary School in the Lynn Garden community more than three years ago, she dreamed of a new playground for the Kennedy Coyotes.
Friday afternoon, her dream came true in Kennedy blue. Even the expected rain did not materialize during or after the ribbon cutting for the playground, which is designed to accommodate children of all abilities, including those in wheelchairs. The rain came more than an hour later.
“There’s not a proper playground in Lynn Garden. So we’re excited to be that,” Irvin said during Kennedy’s Back to School Bash before the playground ribbon cutting and unveiling that began shortly before 3:30 p.m. “Our lack of an equitable playground kept us up at night.”
“The person that really made this happen was her,” Moorhouse said of an effort that Irvin started when former school board members were in office.
“This is a big deal,” Moorhouse said. “Great things are happening in Lynn Garden.”
WHO CAN USE IT?
After the ribbon cutting with the obligatory big scissors, students ran and rolled wheelchairs to try out the new playground.
“I want to go down the slide. I’m going to get stuck,” one girl said as she raced to the playground equipment.
Nearby, a mother rode in a rocking swing with her son in a wheelchair, while other children tried out spinning cups open to all students but specifically designed to help soothe those with autism. The cups resemble cereal bowls.
Irvin said the playground after school hours will be open to the public and that birthday parties and other such events will be allowed, with rules about its use to be formulated and posted soon.