Rise school raises money for playground and scholarship fund

A school in Huntsville is working to make sure their facilities are accessible for all kids, no matter their disability.

Posted: Apr 24, 2018 1:33 PM
Updated: Apr 27, 2018 9:48 AM

The Rise School is raising money to improve their playground and start a scholarship fund to help more students be able to attend.

"He's not a diagnosis here, he's one of the kids," said Dallas Graydon.

Dallas and Joel Graydon's son, Ezra, was born with Down syndrome.

His parents wanted to make sure he was given equal education opportunities at a young age.

They found out about the Rise school through a friend who started the program locally after seeing a big need in Huntsville.

"Once he was eligible for the Rise program, that's what we did and we never looked back," added Dallas.

The school is an early childhood education program on the campus of the University of Alabama in Huntsville that mixes traditional students with others who have disabilities. The school strives for a 50:50 ratio in the classroom. It also offers various therapy services for students.

"He has developed immensely. We've seen him take words here, we've seen him take steps from here," said Dallas. 

"He's getting the tools he needs right now that folks before him didn't have and you really cant put a price on that," said Joel, Ezra's Dad.

Th school is trying to raise $100,000 to resurface the playground where students play everyday and make sure it is accessible for all students to enjoy. 

Right now, the playground is not easily accessible for students in wheelchairs. 

Rise is hosting a Gala to raise money for the playground improvements and also create a scholarship fund for future students th attend the program. 

"That gives the opportunity for families that have children with down syndrome, with cerebral palsy, or spina bifida, that can't afford the opportunity to put their child in this program, that will hopefully offer that to them."

The Graydon family says being apart of the school has caused Ezra to rise up to the next level.

"When this touches your life, it's the greatest blessing ever and you really cant know that until it happens to you," added Ezra's parents. 

The Gala will be held Friday May 11th in the grand hall of the Huntsville Botanical Gardens.

Tickets are required for the event and will go towards funding the playground improvements and scholarship fund. 

For more information visit https://www.friendsofriseschool.org/event/may-gala/

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