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ED Playground Communication Board

Dawson Fournier (far right) stands with East Dover students, parents, staff and administrators next to the inclusive communication board he created and had installed on the playground at the school. 

February 17, 2023 -- Last February, while at a fundraiser for Toms River Township to raise money for a mobile sensory room, Dawson Fournier met a family whose son uses a special program on a device to talk. Inspired by this story, he decided to create a replica of the playground screen for this boy and his friends at his own school.

Dawson reached out to Mr. Gray, principal at East Dover, and met with a team of teachers and special service support personnel to learn which icons would be familiar and useful for the kids to use while on the playground. He designed the board and worked with Girtain Sign Company to have the sign printed.

Once the sign was printed, Dawson gathered the rest of the materials and delivered them to East Dover. With the help of Toms River Regional Schools dedicated maintenance department groundsmen, John Swenson and Keith Wallace, the sign was installed and the kids are enjoying it every time they are out for recess!

Seeing a child bring a friend to the sign and ask them to play is so awesome but it's not the final piece of the project. Dawson intends to share his design and digital files with the district for them to use throughout Toms River's schools to bring inclusivity and communication to as many students as possible!

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