Community comes out to celebrate groundbreaking of sensory playground in Raleigh

What’s happening: A groundbreaking ceremony was held in the Raleigh community this past Wednesday, Oct. 5, as officials from the STAR Academy Charter School and community stakeholders gathered to celebrate the construction of the Imagination Station. Touted as a first-of-its-kind development for Raleigh, the Imagination Station is a sensory-based playground designed to stimulate children’s senses — and not just tire them out in between classes.

What it is: The Imagination Station will be a 4,400 sq. ft. playground built on the STAR Academy campus. The sensory playground will feature equipment, technology, and gadgets that stimulate the senses, including touch, sight, movement, and more. The playground is designed by Memphis’ Mid-South Recreation.

Who they are: Located in Raleigh, STAR Academy is the second oldest charter school in Memphis and teaches students ranging in ages from 5 to 11 years old. 

Why it’s important: The latest in innovative playground trends, sensory playgrounds encourage students to interact with each other, and promote curiosity, discovery, and creativity. According to officials at STAR Academy, “sensory play promotes such skills as cognitive recall, problem solving, prolonged attention span, and stimulates everything from critical thinking and confidence building to social and emotional skills.”

What they’re saying: “It's an infusion of technology, education, electronics, music, the arts. So, imagine a space where children can problem solve on the spot while having fun,” Dr. Ed Stephens III, Chief Operating Officer of STAR Academy, said at the groundbreaking ceremony. “I think about years ago how important it was for me to have an outlet. Think of the mental health disparities and how children are living on the edge. So we're hoping to play a small part in a bigger puzzle.”

STAR Academy Charter School is located at 3260 James Rd. in Memphis.
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