July 2022 e-newsletter

Communication board to be installed at Pen Park

After many months of planning, we are so excited to share the news that a communication board will be installed at Pen Park by the end of the month. Communication boards use symbols or illustrations to help our nonverbal community members communicate with others. This will be the first communication board installed in a Charlottesville city park, and it’s a great step in making Pen Park a more accessible place for all to play. We are so grateful to the Rob Gotlin Community Leadership Grant of the American Osteopathic College of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, PrintSource, Tobii Dynavox LLC, and our volunteers who assisted with design and feedback to help make this communication board a reality.

We’ll have a short celebration at 3pm on Friday, July 29, to mark this new addition to the play area. We will also have a limited number of laminated handheld versions of the board for schools and individual families who would like them. If you cannot make the event but would like a sign for your family or organization, please email us at bennettsvillage@gmail.com.

Join us for food and fun!

Simply Trending Catering is hosting a free family fun day to benefit Bennett’s Village on August 20 from 11 to 5. Bring your family for a day of food and fun.

Calling all women and girls, age 7 and up: Cal Tri event

Do you like to run, swim, or bike—or some combination of the three? California Triathlon is hosting a race on Sunday, September 4, at Fry’s Spring Beach Club and has named Bennett’s Village as a partner! This event will feature seven options for participation (Triathlon, Triathlon Relay, RunBikeRun, SwimBike, SwimRun, 400-yard Swim, and 5K Run). Get more information about the race here (charlottesville.californiatriathlon.org/Race/VA/Charlottesville/2021CalTriFrysSpring).

UVA class supports Bennett’s Village

Last spring, Bennett’s Village served as a case study for a class on practical nonprofit fundraising taught by Erin Hall for UVA’s Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Working in groups, the students took on projects to help Bennett’s Village meet its goal of raising the needed funds to build Charlottesville’s first inclusive playground. Student projects included helping to plan our May Movement Challenge, writing grant proposals, extending our social media reach, and co-hosting with Pam Edmonds a site visit at Pen Park, the future site of the playspace. You may have seen the tweet from President Ryan about some of their work:

We loved partnering with this class! The students got hands-on fundraising experience, and Bennett’s Village got some awesome volunteers. Over the years, we’ve worked with four different UVA classes on architectural design, an audit of the current accessibility of local playgrounds, demographic surveys into the needs of teens and young adults for inclusive playspaces, and an analysis of the best surface materials for inclusive play. One of our goals is to educate the community about what inclusive play means, and working with UVA students is one way we accomplish that goal. We’d be happy to serve as a case study or assignment for your class. If interested, email us at bennettsvillage@gmail.com.

Volunteers needed: Events Committee

The Events Committee is looking for volunteers for upcoming projects:

  • We need some folks to staff the Bennett’s Village information table at the August 20 fundraiser sponsored by Simply Trending Catering.
  • We’re working on hosting an online auction for the fall and need help gathering donations, writing descriptions, taking photos, and more.
  • We are also looking for a new chair of this committee.

It takes a village to help us in our goals. If you’re able to help with any of these needs, please email us at bennettsvillage@gmail.com.

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