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Indigo Christian Academy Opens CREATION Hideout

posted on June 30, 2015, under Education by

by Stacey Tol

Indigo Christian Academy Principal Kari Wasmer and students Mariah Deavers, Quentin Fender, and Moses Silveira cut the ribbon that opened the new CREATION Hideout playground. (Photo: Martin Butler)

Indigo Christian Academy Principal Kari Wasmer and students Mariah Deavers, Quentin Fender, and Moses Silveira cut the ribbon that opened the new CREATION Hideout playground. (Photo: Martin Butler)

As the newly-cut red ribbon floated to the ground on April 20, CREATION Hideout, a new play area at Indigo Christian Academy (ICA) in Daytona Beach, officially opened for business.

CREATION Hideout is aptly named. The nature-inspired play area occupies a shady spot in the school’s woods and was made possible by a Florida Hospital grant designated for projects inspired by CREATION Health. This concept is developed and used by Florida Hospital to educate people on eight key components of health and wellness:

Choice
Rest
Environment
Activity
Trust
Interpersonal relationships
Outlook
Nutrition

Calina Gibbs and her Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students stop for a photo at the CREATION Hideout playground. (Photo: Martin Butler)

Calina Gibbs and her Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students stop for a photo at the CREATION Hideout playground. (Photo: Martin Butler)

Four years ago, ICA staff, led by Principal Kari Wasmer, worked with Florida Hospital and Florida Conference to interweave an emphasis of health and wellness into the school curriculum, culture, policy, and very fiber of ICA—becoming the pilot CREATION Health Adventist school.

Two years later, Florida Hospital set aside $1 million for worthy projects that embodied some or all of the CREATION Health principles. Learning of this, Daytona Beach Church Pastor Jerry Wasmer wrote a three-part grant proposal for ICA. The proposed outdoor learning environment included a nature-inspired play area, an outdoor classroom, and raised beds for a vegetable/herb garden.

Florida Hospital approved the project and gave more than $119,000 to fund it. Soon after, preparation and planning for the playground began. Bulldozers thinned the woods and cleared underbrush that surrounded the church and school.

Jerry and ICA Principal Kari Wasmer began working with Playworld Systems to create an original design for the play area. The final version included a small climbing wall, a slide, climbing steps, a bridge, and lots of lookouts and hideouts to feed kids’ imaginations.

The equipment pieces, designed to resemble stones, logs, and foliage, were manufactured in the United States from a polymer that gets neither too cold nor (critically for Florida) too hot to the touch. Two special panels of the playground were cut to match Jerry’s artistic renderings.

Kindergarden through second-grade students enjoy the CREATION Hideout playground’s climbing wall. (Photo: Martin Butler)

Kindergarden through second-grade students enjoy the CREATION Hideout playground’s climbing wall. (Photo: Martin Butler)

In early April, flatbed trucks, bulldozers, and cranes arrived at ICA to turn the planning into a reality. Students and teachers watched with fascination as multi-ton pieces were moved into place. In little more than a week, the work on CREATION Hideout and the outdoor classroom was completed.

With excitement in the air, Kari welcomed those gathered: ICA students, staff, and parents; Florida Conference representatives: Martin Butler, Communication Director, and Sandra Doran, Associate Superintendent of Education; and Daryl Tol, President/CEO of Florida Hospital Volusia/Flagler Market and of Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center in Daytona Beach. Following Jerry’s prayer of dedication, the ribbon was cut and CREATION Hideout officially opened. In moments, the play area became a happy buzz of activity.

The third part of the project proposal, the vegetable garden, is on the near horizon but not yet complete.

If you find yourself in the Daytona Beach area, take a walk in the woods behind ICA. Have a seat on one of the logs. Breathe in the pine-scented fresh air. Find rest. It will be good for your soul!


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