ELGIN, OK (KSWO) - Most kids don't give a second thought to playing outdoors, but for a group of special needs children in Elgin, using traditional playground equipment is not an option.
So, their teachers decided to install new equipment--a special swing--right inside their classroom. Elgin's special needs teachers purchased the swing a few weeks back with money donated from the Elgin Masonic Lodge and other members of the community.
Elgin teacher Faye Gregg said it was last September when she and her colleagues got the idea for the swing.
“Taking the kids out on the playground with the others, watching them swing and them not being able to do anything outside. So, I looked into the catalog and saw this and thought this would be great for the classroom,” Gregg said. “We would be indoors and we wouldn't have to worry about the weather.”
Gregg said when she saw it, she instantly knew this swing was something that her kids needed.
"They get left out a lot of times and this is something that is made especially for a special needs child and makes them very happy,” Gregg said.
Gregg said the kids look truly happy when they get into the swing each day. She said it not only increases communication with the students, who are non-verbal or wheelchair bound, but it is also therapeutic. One student uses the swing every day after lunch because it helps him relax.
The students are buckled into the swing Gregg says it's also safe. While it has been a huge success, it wouldn't have been possible without the more than $4,000 raised by the Elgin community.
"Elgin is a wonderful community,” Gregg said. “Anytime we ask for something, they help us out. We were pleased to have everybody come and just even the people who donated a dollar at the grocery store or at the basketball games."
Their big fundraiser was a breakfast put on by the Elgin Masonic Lodge, which raised more than $3,300 for the swing. Gregg said getting the swing was a lot of work, but now that she sees the results she knows it was all worth it.
"Just the feeling inside that you get yourself. It just brings a smile to your face anytime you see them laugh and have a good time because you know they are enjoying something and they're not just immobile just sitting there not doing anything,” Gregg said.
Gregg said the swing could just be the start. In the future, they are going to try to get more things like the swing for their kids to enjoy.