Utica-Shelby Twp Michigan

Music is a form of communication that touches the hearts of everyone. When words are not enough, music helps an individual communicate emotions. In 2020, our world has been turned upside down and our mental health has been affected by stress, anxiety and/or depression. Our Kids At Play Project focus for the 2021 Phase 2 build is to install Outside Musical Instruments at River Bends Park in Shelby Township Michigan.
Music is a universal language for our health and well-being. A child sits on the floor of your kitchen with wooden spoons in their tiny hands and hits the bottom of the pans. An adult with dementia has headphones that provide sounds of music from their era and their eyes light up, they smile, and start singing. The sounds and vibrations of music is our universal language. We sing and play music for an unborn child. We create vibrations of music for a child that is deaf. A blind child is gifted with the ability to sing or create music.
Members of the Kiwanis Club of Utica-Shelby Township have made a child's dream come true by creating an all-inclusive, multi-generational playground; so all children of all abilities are able to play together. Kiwanis members met 3 year old Ryen when he needed a wheelchair ramp. Ryen was born with Spina Bifida and is mobile via his wheelchair. Ryen is now a very active 8-year old and his mom, Stacy, encourages him to be just like his brothers and sisters. However, when Ryen goes to the playground with his family and friends, Ryen is not able to play on the slide, or the swing, or any of the playground equipment at our local parks. There is no wheelchair ramp.  Wood chips at the playground makes it very difficult to move around without assistance and even then getting through the wood chips is a struggle.
Macomb County has over 19,000 children with “special abilities” and approximately 4,000 children live near River Bends Park in Shelby Township, Michigan. There was no all-inclusive, multi-generational  playground within a 20 mile radius. Kiwanis has now begun changing our local community and has helped one child's dream to play with others come true.
Thank you in advance for your support of our all-inclusive, multi-generational playground and helping us purchase outdoor musical instruments and safety surface for our 2021 Kids At Play Project.

Additional Information

What organizations will support this playground project?: Phase 1 of our Kids At Play Project raised $205,000 in 2019. We received support from local Kiwanis Clubs and their members: Utica-Shelby Township, Shelby-Macomb Daybreakers, Shelby Golden K and Metro Detroit Young Professionals. Our local Kiwanis Builders and Key Clubs, Circle K and Boy Scout Troop 351 helped at several of our fun-raising events, Many donations were received from local businesses and charities: Nitsche's Meat & Deli Shoppe; Shelby Township Lions Club; 100+ Women Who Care; Charles B. McLaughlin Memorial Fund; KUKACARE Foundation; Shelby Community Foundation; Shelby Township Parks, Recreation & Maintenance; and the Daisy Project Michigan. After presenting the Kids At Play Project to the Shelby Township Lions Club, they applied for a $100,000 matching grant which was received August 2019. The Shelby Township Lions Club also cooridnated donations from other local Lions Clubs and added benches around the all-inclusive, multi-generational playground. The Kids At Play Project was coordinated by members of Kiwanis and the Daisy Project Michigan. They worked with Landscape Structures & Penchura to design the all-inclusive, multi-generational playground, so children of all abilities are able to play together. We have letters of support from Shelby Township Supervisor; Director of Shelby Township Parks, Recreation and Maintenance; Macomb County Executive Office and Superintendent of Utica Community Schools.
How will you ensure your playground is ready to be installed by Kiwanis One Day 2020?: The community support we received in 2019 with the Phase 1 Build ensures that we are ready to accomplish the fun-raising and planning for the 2021 Phase 2 Build with our focus on installing outside musical instruments with a safety surface for all-inclusive access for children of all abilities.
Please feel free to include additional comments about your application.: Kiwanis was fortunate in October 2019 to complete the Phase 1 Build of our all-inclusive, multi-generational playground with 6 pieces of equipment. The safety surface was completed on March 30, 2020. The Phase 2 build is scheduled to be completed by October 2021 with a focus on installing outside musical instruments and a safety surface.. We have received support from several local Kiwanis Clubs, Kiwanis Children's Fund, local Lions Clubs and Lions Club International, along with local businesses to build Phase 1 of the all-inclusive, multi-generational playground. We continue our fun-raising efforts with the help of several non-profits such as the Shelby Township Lions Club, the Daisy Project Michigan and the Kids At Play Project – Michigan. Several fun-raisers have been rescheduled for 2021 such as a River Bends Park “Run, Wag & Roll” Celebration; Adult Game Night & Raffle; Shoe Drive For Your Soles and Shop for Charity Program. We welcome new friends to www.facebook.com/KidsAtPlayPMI. Watch our videos, participate in our events and help us with our mission to raise awareness, change the thinking, and change the world for those with special needs. We are making the world around us more inclusive and accessible. The Kids At Play Project - Michigan's vision is to create an all-inclusive playground designed to be accessible for physical challenged, special needs and able-bodied children.

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