A Comprehensive Cerebral Palsy Resource

Fourth Grader All Smiles Over School’s New Bench

Story written by: Katie DePasquale

At Broadway Elementary School in Denison, IO, there is a new addition to the playground that is making one student in particular very happy: a concrete bench. It may not sound like much, but for fourth grader Naydelin Arreola, this bench marks the beginning of a time when she can play easily with her friends during recess instead of being stuck on the sidelines.

Due to Naydelin’s cerebral palsy, she uses a walker and has to stop and rest often. Before the bench was installed, she didn’t have a good place on the playground to do this, and as a result she would have to separate from her friends so she could find a place to sit down. Thanks to the efforts of Marsha Kolls and Shari Prickett—Naydelin’s associate and her teacher, respectively—Naydelin’s difficulties on the playground have decreased. They were researching the cost of putting in a bench for her when Heather Langenfeld, the ELL, migrant, homeless, and equity coordinator for Denison Middle School, heard about their project and asked her father, Mark Johnson, a general manager at Bohlmann, Inc., about it. He and Bohlmann , Inc. ultimately decided to build and install the bench at no cost to the school. He said he was happy to give back to a school that gives so much to the community.

The bench has been in place for two weeks, and already it’s clear that is has had a positive impact. Naydelin’s mother, Gabriela Arreola, says her daughter is thrilled to have the extra time with her friends.