Schools

Loyola 3rd-graders ask for inclusive playground


Courtesy of Grace Choi
Los Altos Mayor Jean Mordo, back row, center, visits Loyola School third-graders and their teacher Tracy Grinberg, back right, and student teacher Lauren Ewing, back left, March 14.

When Los Altos Mayor Jean Mordo visited Loyola School March 14 to answer third-graders’ questions about public service, the students asked, “How can we get an inclusive playground on campus?”

An inclusive playground is designed as a safe place for children of all abilities and ages.

Loyola third-graders have spent time with transitional kindergartners as well as students with severe physical limitations, under the guidance of third-grade teacher Tracy Grinberg and science, technology, engineering and math instructional support teacher Grace Choi. That has sparked the third-graders’ interest in a playground where they, the school’s youngest students and those with special needs can all play with ease, according to Choi.

Grinberg said she recently took the third-graders to an inclusive playground at Palo Alto’s Mitchell Park, built by the nonprofit Magical Bridge Foundation.

“After the field trip, the kids told me that they would really love to have a playground like that at our school,” she said.

To turn their idea into reality, Mordo told the third-graders that they should attend a Parks and Recreation Commission meeting and make a request. Loyola Principal Kimberly Attell said she plans to take the students to a commission meeting.

The third-graders learned about how the city government works from their Q&A session with Mordo, who explained that small cities, including Los Altos, are run by the city manager, with guidance from the city council.

One of the students asked, “How old do you have to be to run for the city council? Can kids do it?”

Mordo replied that city council candidates must be over age 21.

Correction: There is no minimum age for city council candidates, but you must be a registered Los Altos voter to qualify as a candidate. In California, you must be 18 years or older on Election Day in order to register to vote. 

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