Many people notice challenges, but few go out of their way to provide solutions. Mike Derringer is one of the rare people who not only problem-solved, but put his own time, talent and funds in helping a student be with friends.
Mike Derringer was recently visiting McCordsville Elementary School (MES) as a home health care nurse. While he was out on the playground, he noticed a child in a wheelchair that could not access the mulch area where the child’s friends were. The student was restricted to the concrete sidewalks and basketball area.
Derringer took the matter into his own hands to provide a solution for the child. Derringer has vast carpentry experience; he has built all the furniture in his home. He knew building a few ramps would take him no time to build.
He gained approval to build the ramps from the MES principal, Stephanie Miller, as well as from administration. Over fall break, Derringer purchased, built and set up three ramps in 10 hours. One ramp connects a sidewalk to the main playground, another is behind the kindergarten classrooms, and the third is near the swings behind the kindergarten rooms.
Derringer states, “It was my pleasure. It was a relatively simple project and I was glad I could provide a solution to help the child.”
Kayla Wiseman, the student’s kindergarten teacher, stated that the student was very excited to have the ramps. The student is now able to play and talk with friends on the playground. She said the child has not had the chance yet to try out the swings but plans to soon.
Principal Miller states, “We are so thankful for community members like Mike, who make a difference in students’ lives. This child is now able to have a more complete social experience without physical barriers, and for this we want to thank Mike for all his efforts.”