CORPUS CHRISTI — Kids at Zavala Elementary received quite the surprise Friday in the form of new playground equipment.
“We have students that are in wheelchairs and this is going to be the first time they ever get to ride in a swing,” Judith Hinojosa, the principal at Zavala Elementary said. “We’ve been needing these swings for awhile.”
It was thanks to a community partnership between the Corpus Christi Independent School District (CCISD) and CITGO, received funds to buy a special swing set for children with disabilities.
“Mari, she can swing,” Miguel Martinez, a student at Zavala Elementary said about his friend Marisol Garcia, who has a wheelchair. “It’s going to be fun (for) all of our friends on the playground,”
The set came with a platform that allows chairs to be wheeled and secured into it.
Now 8-year-old Garcia can enjoy a classic playground experience just like her classmates.
“I like it and it’s real cool,” student Jeremiah Sanchez said.
“We have two adaptive education classrooms, and they (have) around 15 students,” Hinojosa said.
Zavala also has an early childhood special education classroom with ten students.
“We proposed why we needed the swings, and they approved it," Hinojosa said.
"We were on the process to ordering and then our CCISD maintenance team put the swings on."
On Friday morning, district and CITGO officials held a ribbon cutting to officially open the playground. It was a moment that celebrated inclusivity, kindness and fun. But most importantly, its a chance for kids to be just kids.
“All my friends can play,” student Juan Martinez said.
“They (the students) get to enjoy recess like anyone else,” Hinojosa said.