When it came time to cut the ribbon at Rosemont Elementary’s renewed playground last week Principal Kathy Spiers called on a very special student to do the honours: Todd St. Pierre.
“Boys and girls, the main driving force behind this renewed playground is our friend Todd,” she told the community members gathered early Wednesday morning.
“Todd now has a wonderful swing to make sure he is included in our playground activities.”
St. Pierre, an effusive bespectacled student, has polymicogyria. That means he struggles with mobility, and has a wheelchair. But with the new swing he can comfortably rock back and forth, have a fun time and enjoy the company of his fellow students.
The playground features a concrete barrier thick enough to be a seating area—it was formerly ringed by wood—and the pea gravel has been replaced by soft, spongy mulch.
“This is inclusion,” said Todd’s mother Holly, tearful during the ceremony.
“This is really important, it’s a big piece of having him be included not just in the school but in the whole community. He’s really proud.”
Along with Superintendent Jeff Jones, members of the construction team and his friends at Rosemont Elementary, Todd seemed to enjoy being the centre of attention when the Star gathered everyone for a photo.
“Todd has such a personality, he loves people,” said Holly. “I would say just about everybody in this school is his friend.”
Tanner Jackson, Amber Gurung and Cash Nay held a celebratory card during the grand opening of the renewed Rosemont Elementary School playground.