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Lakesite gives $10,000 to McConnell for inclusive playground

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From left, Amanda and Paige Collins pose with Amy Thomson. Paige is a first-grade student at McConnell Elementary.

McConnell Elementary School is closer than ever to constructing its own inclusive playground, and the city of Lakesite is helping the school meet its goal.

During the January town meeting, Lakesite commissioners voted unanimously to give $10,000 to McConnell.

It’s the second donation the municipality has given toward the project. Last fall, another donation of $10,000 was given, said Hamilton County exceptional education teacher Amy Thomson, who’s spearheading the playground initiative.

“That puts us more than two-thirds of the way done,” Thomson said. “We’re hoping to do a big push to get [the fundraising] wrapped up in the next month or so.”

She added that she hopes the playground can be built by the end of the school year.

“It benefits the community,” Lakesite Commissioner David Howell said after the vote. “Lakesite’s honored to do it because we’ve been blessed; God’s blessed us.”

Howell said the town just built its own inclusive playground in Bingham Park in 2013.

“It’s been fantastic,” he said. “Everybody’s using it.”

“You can definitely tell that [the Lakesite Commission] shares our vision that every child should be able to participate in the school and in their community,” said Thomson.