A swinging time: Mint Canyon celebrates opening of inclusive playground  

Children enjoy the brand new inclusive playground after the ribbon cutting ceremony at Mint Canyon Community School on Friday morning. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
Children enjoy the brand new inclusive playground after the ribbon cutting ceremony at Mint Canyon Community School on Friday morning. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
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The Mint Canyon Community School Roadrunners started their Friday morning with an exciting celebration before their last day of the school week, as staff, students and parents participated in the unveiling of its brand-new inclusive playground in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

Mint Canyon Community School celebrated the opening of the new inclusive playground for the school’s transitional kindergarten and kindergarten students aimed to create a positive environment “embodying a spirit of inclusivity and belonging that defines the Sulphur Springs school district community, a place where friendships will be forged and memories will be made,” said Ken Chase, Sulphur Springs Union School District board president.  

The inviting structure and vibrant colors were designed to cater to all children of all backgrounds and abilities. This is the eighth inclusive playground built in the Sulphur Springs Union School District.   

Children enjoy the brand new inclusive playground after the ribbon cutting ceremony at Mint Canyon Community School on Friday morning. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
Children enjoy the brand new inclusive playground after the ribbon cutting ceremony at Mint Canyon Community School on Friday morning. Katherine Quezada/The Signal

“Here children of all abilities can come together to laugh, explore, and create lifelong bonds,” said Chase. “May this be a symbol of our collective commitment to the limitless potential of every child.”  

The ceremony opened with the Pledge of Allegiance by Mint Canyon student Analeigh Mireles, who was shy at first, but with Mint Canyon Community School Principal Paulette Volmer’s encouragement successfully led the gathered students, parents and staff.  

Students sang “Good Morning, It’s Such a Beautiful Day” and “Mr. Sun, Mr. Golden Sun” before the ribbon-cutting moment, and parents had the chance to witness their little ones perform and take photos. The Mint Canyon students then patiently waited to play on the apparatus.  

Mint Canyon Community School students perform “Good Morning, It’s such a Beautiful Day” and “Mr. Sun Mr. Golden Sun,” to the ribbon-cutting ceremony attendees on Friday morning to celebrate the brand-new inclusive playground. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
Mint Canyon Community School students perform “Good Morning, It’s such a Beautiful Day” and “Mr. Sun Mr. Golden Sun,” to the ribbon-cutting ceremony attendees on Friday morning to celebrate the brand-new inclusive playground. Katherine Quezada/The Signal

Sulphur Springs Union School District Superintendent Katherine Kawaguchi was also in attendance to share with the community the importance of inclusivity and what this meant to the children’s development.  

“This playground incorporates principles for inclusive play. Our playground is built to ensure that no child is excluded from playtime and that there are sensory activities designed on the structure to stimulate and ensure that all the children’s senses are being tapped into to support the whole child,” said Kawaguchi.  

The inclusive playground has two components, according to Kawaguchi. The main apparatus consists of swings, slides, a bridge, and other play objects catered to young children. The second component on the upper-level deck has outdoor musical instruments and shade structures, so students feel welcome to enjoy the playground in its entirety, she added.  

Children enjoy the brand new inclusive playground after the ribbon cutting ceremony at Mint Canyon Community School on Friday morning. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
Children enjoy the brand new inclusive playground after the ribbon cutting ceremony at Mint Canyon Community School on Friday morning. Katherine Quezada/The Signal

“Together we have built a beautiful place for children to learn and play,” she said.  

Chase, with the assistance of two Mint Canyon students, successfully cut the ribbon and cheers from the children and community members followed.  

Children then had the chance to explore the new playground with one another and exchanged joyous laughter taking turns going down the slides, swaying on the swings, and doing exactly what Sulphur Springs Union School District officials hoped for: making memories.  

Two Mint Canyon Community School students (center) assist Sulphur Springs Union School District Board President Ken Chase to cute the ribbon celebrating a brand new inclusive playground on Friday morning. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
Two Mint Canyon Community School students (center) assist Sulphur Springs Union School District Board President Ken Chase to cute the ribbon celebrating a brand new inclusive playground on Friday morning. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
Children enjoy the brand new inclusive playground after the ribbon cutting ceremony at Mint Canyon Community School on Friday morning. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
Children enjoy the brand new inclusive playground after the ribbon cutting ceremony at Mint Canyon Community School on Friday morning. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
Mint Canyon Community School students perform “Good Morning, It’s such a Beautiful Day” and “Mr. Sun Mr. Golden Sun,” to the ribbon-cutting ceremony attendees on Friday morning to celebrate the brand-new inclusive playground. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
Sulphur Springs Union School District Superintendent Dr. Katherine Kawaguchi announces her excitement about the new inclusive playground and how students will make memories and create friendships for the years to come on Friday during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
Sulphur Springs Union School District Superintendent Dr. Katherine Kawaguchi announces her excitement about the new inclusive playground and how students will make memories and create friendships for the years to come on Friday during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Katherine Quezada/The Signal

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