- Manuel Jara Elementary School
Fort Worth Independent School District Unveils Student-Designed, Community-Built PLAYGROUND at Western Hills Elementary School
When: Saturday, June 25 -- 8 a.m. Volunteers construct playground; 1:30 p.m. Ribbon-cutting;
Where: Western Hills Elementary School, 2805 Laredo Dr., Fort Worth, TX 76116
Who: Fort Worth ISD School Board Trustee Dr. Michael Ryan, School Principal Andrea Johnson, City Councilmember Michael D. Crain, Representatives from Challenge of Tarrant County, Blue Zones Project/Texas Heal Resources, and KABOOM!
Visuals: Volunteers constructing the playground starting at 8 a.m. and Ribbon-cutting at 1:30 p.m.
Project is part of nationwide effort by KABOOM! to end playspace inequity
Volunteers from the Fort Worth Independent School District, Western Hills Elementary School, and Challenge of Tarrant County are constructing a student-designed playground to ensure students have a safe, inclusive place to play. This is part of a nationwide effort by KABOOM! to end playspace inequity – the reality that places to play are not available to every child, especially in communities of color. This project will provide a state-of-the-art playground to more than 656 students – as well as their families and community members – each year.
Community members led the creation of the playground, from design to installation. In April, students from Western Hills Elementary shared drawings, paintings, and 3D models of their dream playspaces with project organizers. These ideas were integrated into the new playground design, which was decided after the school community provided feedback.
The new playground, intended for Western Hills’ second through fifth grade students, includes elements to promote play among students with disabilities and Too Small to Fail panels to promote conversation. Students wanted swings and more challenging equipment, and the new playground will have both. The school is also receiving an edible teaching garden, Texas native shrubs, and fruit trees this fall. Covered outdoor learning spaces will be installed after the playground is built, in response to feedback from the school community. The mission of Western Hills Elementary is to provide a positive and warm climate that is conducive to learning by incorporating strong teaching methodology and high expectations into all student learning opportunities. Its vision is to ignite in every student a passion for learning.
The project is a part of Challenge of Tarrant County’s commitment to ensuring community health and wellness for all who call Tarrant County home.