A Q&A with Stacy Lewis, Executive Director of Luthercare for Kids
Luthercare for Kids recently celebrated the launch of a new playground at its Reamstown Early Learning Center. This organization provides year-round care and early learning services to help support working families or those pursuing education. They have a team of nearly 90 professionals—all whom have experience and training in working with young children—at five early learning centers in Lebanon and Lancaster counties.
Q. How did you and your organization go about selecting General Recreation?
We were interested in Landscape Structures equipment and found General Recreation through our research. As we spoke with Steve Hemler about the comprehensive services provided by his company, we found the expertise we were seeking to know that our project was going to be in good hands. A playground is a substantial investment for us. I gained the trust we needed to feel we would end up with a playground we love.
Q. What was important to you throughout the project?
We wanted someone who understood the safety requirements of the play age groups we’re serving, from toddlers to 12-year olds. Also, we needed someone who could oversee that all the moving parts were working together to keep our playground on track.
Q. What did you want in your playground and why?
We were looking to provide a collection of play equipment pieces that would reflect the range of motion children could experience as if they were playing in the woods. For example, jumping from rock to rock, climbing a tree, or hiding below the boughs of a pine tree.
We love the idea of natural playgrounds, but we wanted a playground that would capture the attention of the neighborhood and let others know children were served in the building. For that same reason, we were interested in a color scheme that would echo colors reflected in the natural world, however vibrant enough to catch the eye of those driving by. We’ve accomplished that with our unique color scheme…the colors remind me of the vivid hues of a crisp fall afternoon.
Q. What was it like to work with Steve and Gen Rec?
A. Gen Rec was completely professional and courteous. Steve…he was amazing. From the first contact I knew we were working with someone who shared our passion for “play with a purpose.” Steve conveys a positive energy whenever you see him. He was committed to our satisfaction throughout the entire process. He was not only patient, but encouraged us to give careful consideration to our design plans and work until we were 100-percent happy.
We would absolutely recommend Gen Rec and Steve if you are considering a playground—you will not be disappointed.
Q. What kind of feedback have you received from the kids?
A. Simply put: THEY LOVE IT!! They have even come up with a nickname for the large tumbler climbing section. They call it the “Big Cheese” because of the holes intentionally designed into it.
Q. What is your favorite thing about the playground and why?
A. The best thing about the playground is the joy that it has brought to the Reamstown Early Learning Center community. Of course the children and families love it, but even more importantly, the teachers who care so much for the children now have a safe, awesome space to engage children in learning and growing outside year round.
This is a wonderful, committed team of teachers and to be able to provide something like this means they are able to be their best for children.