The Asbury Foundation of Hattiesburg generously funded the purchase and installation of a new playground area to benefit Canopy Children’s Solutions (Canopy) and the students at the CARES School Hattiesburg.

Canopy’s CARES School Hattiesburg was established in 2009. The school serves more than 60 students from the Pine Belt Region annually who experience emotional, behavioral or developmental challenges that prohibit their participation in a typical classroom setting. Throughout its 10-year history, a capacity for outdoor play and therapeutic recreation was an area of need that was long overdue.

“Seeing the students smile as they played on the new playground was an immense blessing to the staff at CARES School Hattiesburg,” said Canopy Behavioral-Education Consultant Amanda Kirk. “For years, we have dreamed of having playground equipment for our students to enjoy. The kindness of Asbury’s donation has filled a great need for our students.”

In addition to facilitating free play, which is a critical learning opportunity for young children, the new playground also encourages children’s imaginative play and helps with the development of social and gross motor skills.

The playground was unveiled to the students on the first day of the school year. A few of the children were overheard saying:

“I really like playing on the slide; it’s my favorite part!”

“I like going outside now. It’s a lot more fun.”

“This is for us to play on? Really?! When do I get a turn?!”

“We know that play is the universal language of children and it is a huge part of their developmental growth,” said John D. Damon, Ph.D., CEO for Canopy. “Canopy has continued to invest in the expansion of the Hattiesburg school to meet the demand for children in the area. We are so grateful to the Asbury Foundation who saw this need and believed in what Canopy is doing with the CARES School and wanted to step in and help in a big way.”

ABOUT CANOPY CHILDREN’S SOLUTIONS CARES SCHOOLS:  CARES Schools are accredited, non-public schools designed to meet the educational and behavioral needs of students whose challenges prohibit enrollment in a public school setting. The goal of CARES School is for each student to learn effectively and be able to return to their public school.  Canopy has CARES Schools in Hattiesburg and Jackson. For more information regarding Canopy’s full array of solutions, please contact 800-388-6247 or visit mycanopy.org.