ST. LOUIS - Seven-year-old Wyatt Gehbaurer has cerebral palsy. He can't play on the school playground with his classmates because his wheelchair can't make it over the mulch surface.
But thanks to a group of second graders, an effort to step up and help their classmates with special needs in the Parkway School District is giving them a chance to feel just like everyone else.
They're stepping up to help their classmates with special needs feel included at Highcroft Ridge Elementary School.
"You want your kids to be included, accepted and part of the group and when your kid can't play and when your kid can't play on the playground, it kind of hurts a little," said Leah Gehbaurer.
A set of triplets came to the rescue. They sold lemonade two weeks ago, along with five other families and raised $1,100 in one day. But they still need thousands more to pay for a wheelchair accessible surface for the playground and a little tikes revolution spinner.
The triplets' mom is pleased.
"The totals came out [and] we were all just so impressed and it made us more driven," said Julie Wyatt.
Wyatt says her kids just want to be able to play with Wyatt during recess, but they now realize an inclusive playground would help even more children feel included.
"To know that my children are part of a bigger picture that wants to include everyone in the playground is wonderful," said Wyatt.
"I'm incredibly proud of our students, all of the students they saw that something was wrong in their eyes," said Cartelia Lucas, principal of Highcroft Ridge Elementary. "They looked into ways they could change it, make that wrong into a right and they implemented a plan."
Wyatt's mom is grateful for the community's support.
"We understand that world can change for us, we have to change for them. But in this small way Wyatt's friends can help include him in the playground," said Gehbaurer.
The parents said it could cost at least $10,000 for the spinner and a new surface for the playground. The triplets and their friends plan on working their lemonade stand again on Friday, July 14.
The lemonade stand locations have not yet been announced.
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