Vote for August Pepsi Refresh projects that promote play and accessibility

Pepsi Refresh gives each month, up to $1.3 million  as follows: 2 Grants at the $250,000 level; 10 Grants at the $50,000 level; 10 Grants at the $25,000 level; and 10 Grants at the $5,000 level. YOU CAN VOTE FOR UP 10 PROJECTS EVERYDAY!

There are over 1,200 wonderful projects this month listed on Pepsi Refresh.  There are all sorts of interesting projects to help childern with special needs.  There are projects to work on obesity and getting kids moving.  There are gardening projects.  There are nature playground projects and projects to create equine therapy centers.  There were so many great ideas that I wanted to vote for.  You will have to make your own decisions.  But remember to vote!  You get a say in whose project goes forward and who has to try another way.

I could list 50 projects that I loved here, but instead we will keep to the mission of the site and give you a list of a play projects whose goals include accessibility and inclusion.

Buy exercise equipment for students with emotional disabilities.

I will use the money to purchase exercise machines (stationary bikes, rowers, etc.) to provide daily aerobic fitness opportunities for students with emotional disabilities. Exercise is known to help alleviate depression, enhance learning, increase fitness and ability to focus, reduce ADHD and improve self esteem, all areas of deficit for these students. Goals will be developed for the group and individuals, the former by consensus, the latter based upon need.They will chart progress and earn various awards for milestones such as weight loss, miles/meters/distance logged, consecutive days of participation, etc. The program will be interdisciplinary so, academics and exercise are connected throughout the day. Students might choose to run, row, or cycle across the state of Arizona. History, geography, math and science can be incorporated as the students chart their journey on a map and count miles, calories burned, and research the history of cities along the way. Learn more

Hold skateboard camps for autistic children around the nation

Autism, like skateboarding, can be unpredictable and often times unruly. We embrace the parts of autism that are hard to understand and give these kids an outlet that is free of rules or judgment, and allows them to be social without being “social”. Skateboarding has always been counterculture. Even as it edges closer to the mainstream, skateboarding remains on the fringe. It’s still an emblem of rebellion, still a little outlaw. Skaters don’t follow the herd. They’re often thought of as different. Those of us who skate view skateboarding as an outlet to express our individuality and creativity. What better sport to represent kids who are too often thought of as outsiders? Children with autism can flourish given the right circumstances–they are bright, creative and sensitive individuals who need venues where their uniqueness can be celebrated. Let’s help them find a place to express themselves through skateboarding.  Learn more

Create a community-built dream playground in Cottage Grove, WI

We are designing a safe, long-lasting, unique playground that will be located on the west side of Fireman’s Park and reflects the input of local children and Cottage Grove’s community. We will put extra effort to choose environmentally-friendly, low-maintenance building materials, art by children, and make efforts towards a barrier-free playground. The design of the playground was unveiled on 13 January 2010 after meeting with school children and community members to gain input, ideas and dreams. The budget has been set at $167,000. Efforts have already begun to obtain materials and apparatus at reduced costs. The project will be completely community built starting with the adults in the community working on various committees to see the park become a reality (from fundraising, grassroots, kids committees, materials committee,volunteer committees) to the end when the park is actually built by volunteers from the Cottage Grove and surrounding communities. Learn more

Construct a handicapped accessible playground for all students to use.

McHenry Primary PTO needs your help in making our project, “All Children Can Play” a reality. Our plan includes removing an old wooden play structure and replacing it with a handicapped accessible, age appropriate structure. This new equipment will create an environment that is safe, challenging, interactive and just fun. The equipment will include ramps for our students who use wheelchairs and walkers. There will be many interactive play panels, drums, a slide, and various climbing components. When children with and without disabilities play together they learn to appreciate each others “abilities and similarities”. Our After-School-Care program and local community will also benefit from the new area.  Learn more.

Build an all inclusive playground in Farmington, Missouri

We are creating a completely, handicapped accessible, playground in our community. We are working with the City of Farmington, who graciously donated a site in Engler Park. This will be the first playground of it’s kind, within a 100+ mile radius! Our dream is to allow children of all abilities, be able to play together, safely. “We Play Too” is the name of this project. The current area parks, mostly meet ADA standards, but by no means are “inclusive”, as ADA standards are pretty lax. Inclusive, means that there is access to all features by people of all abilities. This includes but is not limited to, wheelchair accessibility to and from the play site, as well as transfer stations on the equipment itself. Learn more

Build a skatepark to host free skate clinics to children with autism

The “Skate for Autism” project was created to fulfill the need for organized sports for children with autism. Our focus is to give children who may not be able to participate in social sports such as baseball or football, a sport in which they can control themselves and be successful. Many children diagnosed with autism struggle with sensory integration. Skateboarding is a life-long individualized sport where students can learn to regulate their body while they enjoy the pleasures of skating (e.g., movement, wind).Skating provides additional opportunities for learning appropriate social skills and promotes independence through self-help.Currently, Birmingham does not have a skatepark.Our vision is to build a public skate park with the capacity to host fundraisers, with a specifically designed area to support individuals with autism spectrum disorders in learning how to skate through individualized instruction, to learn at their own pace. Learn more

Support Disabled Veterans-Build Handicapped Accessible Park/Piers

The “Support Disabled Veterans” project will give the opportunity for our VFW to reclaim a piece of land that has been ravaged by years of coal mine activity, make the land safe, create a recreational area for our “brothers & sisters” who have been ravaged by the effects of wars in which they have fought to serve our country. The project will ensure that our veterans and the community can come together to enjoy nature and all it’s bounty at a totally handicap accessible park. The park is home to hundreds of indigenous species of wildlife and this project will provide for their habitat while giving the disabled citizen the opportunity to enjoy nature independently. We are working jointly with the DEP, and several community organizations to bring this project to completion. We are underway and have expended our own monies to pay for permits/planning/excavation done to date. Learn more

Buy adaptive playground equipment for multiple disabilities students.

The project plan for the adaptive playground equipment is to purchase and install equipment that is accessible for the students with multiple disabilities in the Hamilton City School District in order to give all special needs students in Hamilton City Schools and the entire City of Hamilton a fun and interactive play to play. Learn more

Build a playground appropriate for children with special needs

Our current playground has mulch on the ground and limited equipment that our children with special needs can use. The children pick up the mulch, throw it, put it in their mouth, and fall on it. We would love to have the ground covered in a recycled material that is safe for the children to play on. We would also like to have more equipment for all of children, but especially our children with disabilities so that they can participate as much as possible. Currently our therapeutic seats are roughly forty feet from where the black top ends making it extremely difficult to push a wheel-chair over the mulch to the swings. If we won the grant, we would build a “green” playground that is safe and accessbible for ALL of our children. Learn more

See who won last month

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