General News
Posted January 27, 2012
New Therapeutic Playgrounds Will Help Kids at All Children’s Outpatient Care Of Ft. Myers and Sarasota

When is child's play really work? When a child is overcoming developmental disabilities, much can be accomplished with the use of special playground equipment. All Children's Outpatient Care of Sarasota and Ft. Myers dedicated new therapeutic playgrounds this past week to help children with a variety of rehabilitative needs. 

These unique playgrounds include innovative products that will accommodate children with a wide variety of developmental disabilities to help them meet therapeutic goals, such as: climbing (physical therapy), gripping (occupational therapy) and following directions and color identification (speech language).  It will be especially helpful for children with little or no mobility who are unable to participate in physical play. This playground will help children achieve their highest level of participation in physical activity.

Each playground cost over $121,000. The Ft. Myers playground was made possible through the generosity of Walmart & Sam's Club Associates, their generous customers and members. It's a portion of the $619,611 raised at 99 Walmart & Sam's Club locations throughout west central Florida to benefit programs and services provided through All Children's Hospital. The remainder of last year's funds established a Simulation Center on the hospital's St. Petersburg campus for education of healthcare professionals.

"It is part of our culture to give back to the community," said Javier Brenes, Walmart Market Manager for the Southwest Florida Region. "Being part of this makes me feel part of something bigger - to be able to help so many children in need."

The Sarasota playground was a labor of love by numerous community organizations including: The Sarasota/Manatee Branch of the All Children's Hospital Guild, William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, Queen's Wreath Jewels & the Little Family, and the Dema P. Moore Estate.

"These therapeutic playgrounds are specifically designed to facilitate key therapeutic activities and help children reach their goals," said Kathleen Wiggs-Stayner, All Children's Ambulatory Care Director.  "The materials that were used, the colors that were chosen - all the equipment has a specific purpose in the therapeutic approach and programs that our master's-prepared therapists utilize in helping to treat these children."