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Mesquite, TX – October 24, 2019 – The playground at Georgia Kimball Elementary School received an accessibility upgrade this month. Fredina Guevara, a paraprofessional for a special education class at Kimball, contacted City of Mesquite when one of her students expressed his desire for more participation in recess.
Jamonta, a fifth grader at Kimball, is wheelchair bound and enjoys playing outside with his classmates. Sometimes on field day, Jamonta’s peers play games and have races on the tennis court. The gate around the court did not have an entry wide enough for Jamonta’s wheelchair, so he usually sat outside the court with his teachers.
When Jamonta expressed his desire to play on the tennis court with his friends, Mrs. Guevara immediately contacted the City to find a solution. Within two weeks, Mesquite Parks and Recreation widened the gate so that Jamonta’s chair can fit through.
“He was so excited,” said Mrs. Guevara. “He threw his hands in the air yelling ‘Yes! Yes! Can we get my friends to come see?’ So we did just that – We got his fifth grade friends and they celebrated with him.”
Following the celebration, Jamonta and his classmates demonstrated their appreciation with a large handmade “thank you” card showing photos of the tennis court before and after the gate adjustment. That week, Mrs. Guevara set up an opportunity for Jamonta and his classmates to meet City staff and present the card.
“We were so thrilled to share the excitement and allow the City to see what a difference was made in a child's life. When we asked our fifth graders what was the best part of their day, they replied ‘Getting to play with Jamonta on the tennis courts!’”