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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New Outdoor Play Area

On October 20th, Birchtree’s students, staff, and families celebrated a ribbon cutting for our new outdoor active play area. We were able to install the playground equipment thanks to generous grants from the Ronald McDonald Charities of Eastern New England and the Mary Louise Billings Trust, RBS Citizens N.A., Trustee. Representatives from these two organizations attended the ceremony and cut the ribbon with help from our acting executive director, Sandra Pierce Jordan, Ph.D., BCBA-D.
The Birchtree Center’s Employee Focus Group designed the play area and oversaw its installation. Twenty-seven parent and staff volunteers help paint, assemble, and install the equipment.
The new play house and open play area allows our younger students to practice “play skills” such as pretend play and sharing toys with their peers.
A water table, sandbox, and digger toy offer therapeutic multi-sensory experiences for our students.

The play area also includes a “fun hoop,” where students can strengthen their motor skills and practice group games. During our students’ first day in the play area, several students struggled to make a basket in the fun hoop, but that didn’t concern our staff. “It takes time for our students to learn new skills,” said our acting executive director, Sandra Pierce-Jordan, “but with lots of practice and support, our students can achieve amazing things.” 
To read news articles about the play area, click here.

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