LifeSpan Circle School

In November of 2008, WorldLegacy’s NC105 Leadership team chose the LifeSpan Circle School,in Burlington North Carolina for their project. This school offers 5-star day-care and pre-school services to a mix of children who are developing typically and also to children with special needs. This WorldLegacy Leadership project provided the school with a transformed playground by moving a swing set and bean-bag-toss unit to safer locations, installing a handicapped-accessible swing seat, installing a climbing tree for physical and cognitive development, upgrading the sandboxes and re-mulching the play areas. In addition, a storage shed that obstructed teachers’ view of the children in the playground was replaced with an open gazebo where children can enjoy sheltered play with a set of new toys. The budget was $37,500.

WorldLegacy Building Lifespan Playground

More than 100 Volunteers help erect area for local school
By Michael D. Abernethy

Children at the LifeSpan Circle School in Burlington will be welcomed to a brand new playground Monday. Built in two days by more than 100 volunteers from all over North Carolina and the US. Among the new treasures are a gazebo, a handicapped-accessible swing set, brand new pre-school level playground and several new sand boxes. Volunteers also mulched, raked, and cleaned the schoolyard.

I can’t wait to see the kids’ eyes Monday.  Being a non-profit organization, we couldn’t have afforded this,” said Buzz Vanderwerff, LifeSpan’s development director for Guilford and Alamance Counties.  The Burlington preschool places typical and developmentally challenged children together or learning and an inclusive environment between 6 months and 6 years old. The volunteer project was coordinated by the WorldLegacy Leadership Program, headquartered in Morrisville, and is the Center’s 105th The program teams people of all ages and all walks of life to build their leadership skills and focus on a community project about once a month. community service project in North Carolina and the South.

“We came together to give back.  There’s nothing better than to give and there’s no one better to give to than kids.  This will have an impact in the community for a very long time,” said program member Talib Winston, 30.  “What (LifeSpan) could have done in three months, we’ve done in two days, all without spending our own money and all with donations from the community.”  The program’s 30 members organized support from 40 Elon University students in the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity and 20 NC A&T students.  About 20 more volunteers from within the community also lent support over the weekend. Deborah Dorland, 50, is an artist by trade from her home in West Virginia.  She spent the weekend constructing a sandbox with tie-downs for a tarpaulin shell. Children there could play in the school’s sandboxes because they were unsafe, she said. “It seems like a very humble thing to make a sandbox, but this is a stretch for me.  I spend all day sculpting and painting.

This program has completely changed my life.  It’s put me in a place where I can be a better daughter and sister,” Dorland said.  Winston says the leadership program has made him a better father in the six months he’s been involved with the WorldLegacy.  “Without this, I don’t know if I would have kept my family together.  I can only say thank you to (John Foley, the man who told him about the program) and thank the Lord,” he said.The school and WorldLegacy members will hold a ribbon cutting celebration Monday from 4 to 6pm, complete with food and performances by the New River Uprising band, Lulu as “Mother Goose,” Clown Willie and Don the Magic Man.
Reprinted with permission Burlington Times-News.

Circle School Testimonial

I’m a member of the WorldLegacy’s NC105 Leadership Team. What a wild ride! Our leadership experience culminated in a project for the LifeSpan Circle School in Burlington. The Circle School is a school
for developmentally disabled children that operates on an inclusive model, where children interact and learn alongside other children with disabilities of varying degrees. This integrative approach is
beneficial for the childrens’ social life and cognition. The Circle School is a wonderful place with a loving, devoted staff. Our team gave to the school by revamping its playground and providing
toys and additions both to its playground and to its indoor recreation room. Over the course of two and a half days, we built two sandboxes, replanted two swing sets, poured fresh mulch over the entire two-acre
playground, and set up new plastic outdoor play stations. We also replaced a hazardous, decrepit shed (where the children used to gather outside) with a brand new, sparkling white, rectangular gazebo
with rails! This provided ample space and shelter for many children to around in the shade. 100% of the funds used to buy the toys, materials, and supplies for the project were fundraised or donated. 100% of the labor was volunteered. To honor the school and recognize its children, we held a public commemoration at the school, where we officially “turned the playground over” to the kids. The whole project was a wonderful, life-changing experience. My experience at the Lifespan Circle School is a testament that anyone can change the world.
It just takes a few people declaring that they will, and then living up to their word.

Taylor Hayes
We were indeed extreme givers for this extreme makeover project
see press release