JCC to unveil new, accessible playground at Fox Building

The Jewish Community Center announced that a new, 8,000 square-foot early childhood playground will be ready for children of all abilities in a matter of weeks at its Marilyn Fox Building in Chesterfield. Upon its completion, it will be one of the only accessible early childhood playgrounds in the St. Louis area.

“This has been a dream project of ours for several years,” said Lynn Wittels, President and CEO of the JCC.

“We are grateful to our generous funders for making this experience available to our Early Childhood Center families and to families in our community.”

The expanded playground design includes new play structures for pre-K children and toddlers, and an infant-toddler play area, a garden space with a watering area, a water feature for infants and toddlers, and a drinking fountain.  Nature, music, art, sensory and dramatic play components will also be added.

“All play areas have modifications incorporated so anyone can participate,” said Amy Flesher, Director of the JCC’s Early Childhood Center at the Fox building. “For example, the art easel is built so a child can approach it on foot or in a wheelchair. We want all children to feel a part of the group. Children with disabilities will be able to participate alongside typically developing children. All children will be able to experience empathy because they’re able to interact with children who are different from themselves.”

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The playground will be used primarily by children in JCC youth programs and camps; however, the JCC plans to make it available for local families and for open play days for children with disabilities.

The first community open play day and open house will immediately following the ribbon-cutting at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, May 15. The new playground was made possible thanks to a lead gift from the Tilles Foundation, with additional funds donated by Marie and Stuart Block, Marilyn and Ambassador Sam Fox, and Trio Foundation of St. Louis.