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Union, OH: Moose lodge helps elem school toward $96,000 goal for sensory room

Dec 29, 2023, WTOV9 TV Fox: Local lodge donates money toward sensory playground at Union Local Elementary

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio — Lafferty Moose Lodge 1462 donated $1,000 to Union Local Elementary School for its brand-new sensory playground on Thursday.

"It was something that we thought would be a great benefit for everyone. I'm hoping more people see this, I don't think people have seen what they are doing to here at Union Local," said Marsha Butler, Lafferty Moose Lodge administrator.

The lodge applied for money through its national lodge to help in the community. The playground was a natural fit.

"We do have children that it's a struggle to get them on/off the playground without any incidents that could be dangerous for them because they would get upset," Resource Room Teacher Jessica Anderson said.

The price tag on the playground is roughly $96,000. They've been raising money for two years with the help of students and the public.

"We started the collection, and we've been able to come up with $50,000 and have ordered the sensory equipment, so we still have more to collect the extra equipment," Principal Dana Kendziorski said.

The playground will be built right outside of Anderson’s classroom.

"There's a wobble sphere that they can climb into, and it will move around. They love that movement in a circular motion. There's a quiet grove. A lot of our children that are diagnosed with autism have trouble with sound being too loud and the quiet grove was definitely one of the bigger purchases we made,” Anderson said."

Anderson says everything they are planning is specifically for the children’s needs --

equipment, rubber flooring, fencing, and handicapped merry go round.

They want it to be inclusive.

"These kids are like, they are my family,” Anderson said. “I love them so much, and I have them so much for most of the years that they're here at the elementary and to know the love shown toward them is very heartwarming. I'm very excited to see that.”

And while they aren't at their goal just yet, they are welcoming any donations. The school is hoping to see progress start in spring.


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