Texas Honors Girl, 9, for Making Playgrounds Accessible

A 9-year-old Aledo girl who believes "every kid deserves a chance to play" headed to Austin Tuesday to accept a statewide award.

Jayci Stubblefield, a student in the Aledo Independent School District, decided to take action after seeing that one of her best friends, Rylea Lambert, couldn't join her on the playground to swing during recess. Rylea has cerebral palsy and gets around in a wheelchair.

Soon after, Jayci launched a campaign to get a wheelchair accessible swing at the McCall Elementary School playground. She lobbied her principal and the Aledo Education Foundation, selling t-shirts and bracelets to raise money.

And it all worked!

McCall Elementary School got the new swing and playground materials a few months later. Coder, Vandagriff and Stuard Elementary Schools followed suit.

For all her work, Jayci was named to receive the J.C. Montgomery Jr. Child Safety Award.

A website for the award states that “the award recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of individuals in Texas and organizations in the state that exemplify innovation, efficacy, community involvement, and dedication to the safety of all children."

After McCall Elementary School students Jayci Stubblefield and Rylea Lambert worked for a year to get a wheelchair-friendly playground, the Aledo ISD Education Foundation help fund a swing and new surface.

"This ceremony acts as a bridge to connect these people and organizations to build upon one another's strengths and create a comprehensive knowledge around best-practices to improve child safety in the state,” the statement said.

Jayci’s mom, Charlisa Stubblefield, said Jayci "got pretty emotional and cried happy tears after a big smile. She said, ‘Mamma, these are happy tears.’”

The 2016 Award will be presented at the sixth Annual J.C. Montgomery Jr. Child Safety Award ceremony at the state capitol in Austin, Texas.

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