Posted by: Barry | April 13, 2011

An opportunity for ABLE’s Afterschool: Let’s make their play more enriching


We have a small playground area beside our building that is used for recess time each day by the kids who participate in the Afterschool program.  It’s certainly a modest space, without much to it, as you can see in the photo at the right. 

But it may not be quite so humble for long.

Several months ago, Kyle Lueken, a landscape architect who is very familiar with our work (he happens to be the husband of Molly Lueken, ABLE’s own education coordinator) decided he’d like to help us improve that space.  On his own time, Kyle drew up some pretty extensive plans  for an exciting renovation of the space, which includes an active play structure, a vibrant “colored pencil” fence, a nature and science corner, an outdoor chalkboard, and a painted map of the United States on the concrete.   (You can see Kyle’s plans below. Click on them to enlarge.)

Looking over these plans and imagining them becoming reality was exciting.  But I must admit, they got put aside.  With funding tight, playground plans did not seem to be a high priority.

Two things have developed since then, though.  First, I got a call last week from someone who visited ABLE Families recently, asking if they could make a $1,000 donation to be directed to the renovation of our playground space

Second, when Kyle heard that, he offered to donate some significant time and to do much of the renovation work himself and to gather some donated materials that we’ll be needing (which he has already begun to do).   

$1,000 is a wonderful start toward getting this work done, and the donation of materials and Kyle’s time are major savings.  Kyle estimates that another $2,000 would make this playground space renovation happen just as we’re envisioning

If you’re interested in making a donation like that, or know someone who might be, please give me a call (304-393-4987) or drop me an email (  This project would truly enhance our Afterschool program, making even the kids’ playtime more enriching.

(Click on the images of Kyle’s plans to enlarge them.)


  1. Glad to hear it’s getting a change. Congratulations on it!

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