More than 70 friends, family members, teachers, principals, and community members were on hand to recognize the winners of the “Let’s Play! Disabilities Awareness Month Youth Poster Contest” at the Santa Monica Disability Commission’s Dec. 5 meeting.
The theme was “Let’s Play!” in support of Santa Monica’s first universally accessible playground now under design. Universally accessible playgrounds are spaces where children of all abilities can play side by side, and that can be enjoyed by parents with disabilities and seniors as well. Santa Monica’s playground will be located by the beach at Ashland Avenue. It is anticipated that construction will begin in late summer 2012.
Grand Prize Winner Miraclestar Doby, a 5th grader from McKinley Elementary, summarized the spirit of the poster contest when she received her award.
“I just wanted the disability people and the regular people to be equal and have fun and play,” Doby said.
Commissioner Amy Boersma praised the both the students and their teachers for using the poster contest to raise awareness of what a universally accessible playground might look like, and noted that some of the students’ design ideas may be incorporated into the playground.
Commissioner Boersma urged the students to continue to advance the message of the contest.
“As you grow up and have families of your own and perhaps become an architect, a city planner, or whatever it is you intend to do, I hope you all continue to support the concept of having universally accessible parks as part of your community,” Boersma said.
The ten Grand Prize winners will be displayed as banners at the new beachside playground during construction.
For more on universally accessible playgrounds, visit www.facebook.com/smbuap.
A complete list of winners is provided below.
Grand Prize Winners:
Montague “Montie” Oxman Kindergarten
Luna Maghloubi 1st Grade
Julia Carlson 2nd Grade
Grace Hunzicker 4th Grade
Hugo Maida 4th Grade
Miraclestar Doby 5th Grade
Karen Hoffman 6th Grade
Hyerhee Seo 7th Grade
Matthew Kimura 11th Grade
Lana Saykali 11th Grade
First Runners Up:
Bibi Peterson Kindergarten
Kira Little 1st Grade
Constance Andrews 2nd Grade
Estella Szasz 2nd Grade
Mason Hackmann 3rd Grade
Nick Ghaffarian 4th Grade
Lily Alinaghizadeh 5th Grade
Malikhi Ly 7th Grade
Arielle Kronovet 11th Grade
Tristan Leigh 11th Grade