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Power of Play receives $250,000 grant

Power of Play receives $250,000 grant

What started as a dream for a group of Carl Junction teachers, staff, and community leaders for fully inclusive playgrounds for all Carl Junction students is much closer to reality today as the Power of Play Project is the recipient of a $250,000 matching grant.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of State Parks, through the federally funded Land and Water Conservation Fund of the National Park Service selected Carl Junction Schools’ project as one of nine funded projects in State.

“We are so excited to be a part of this grant program,” said Heather Linscheid, occupational therapist at Carl Junction Schools and the leader of the Power of Play project. “This provides the momentum we need to complete the first stage of the project by August 2019. We have 70% of the funding needed to complete Phase I and then we will move right into Phase II so that all of our playgrounds are accessible for all students.”

The plan includes remodeling three playgrounds on the school campus with poured in-place solid rubber surfacing and play structures and elements that facilitate inclusive play for all children. Phase I will remodel the current 16,500 square foot playground used by 1,200 2nd – 6th grade students and Phase II will address the needs of students in the Kindergarten-1st Grade Building and the Early Childhood Program.

To complete the matching funds requirement of the grant, a group of about thirty people continue researching funding resources, writing grant proposals, and looking for local, regional, and national project partners for the $153,000 remaining for Phase 1.

“We are continuing to looking at State and National funding sources to help us reach our goal of approximately one million dollars for all three playgrounds” said Linscheid. “Local companies and individuals who believe in our project are also stepping up to partner with us. This is really taking off and we plan to begin Phase I as soon as school is out next spring.”

“Some children are not able to play due to concerns with mobility, strength, or sensory processing skills,” explained Linscheid. “Play is necessary for a child’s physical, emotional, and social development.”

If you’d like to know more about “The Power of Play” and to read some of our student stories, visit our website at