St. Rita dedicates new playground to former student

EVENDALE, OH (FOX19) - St. Rita School for the Deaf cut the ribbon on a new playground Monday dedicated to the memory of a former preschool student.

Attendees of the ceremony remembered the life of Gemma Kaufman, a former preschool student who drowned earlier this year in a pond. She was 2-years-old.

According to St. Rita's website, "[Kaufman's] impact on the teachers and students at St. Rita School will always be remembered through the playground. Her famous hugs and laughter are the inspiration for the playground to be a safe and joyful place where kids learn and grow and most importantly, laugh."

The state-of-the-art playground was transformed into a safe and stimulating area for students of all abilities to enjoy. Taking into consideration physical as well as sensory obstacles that many of the students face, a playground was designed to both accommodate different levels of play and encourage muscle development. 

St. Rita School encourages enrollment of students with various communication challenges including deafness and apraxia, as well as typical students.

Kroger, BonBonerie, Buskin Bakery and Cupcake Crazy provided refreshments at the dedication ceremony.

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