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A 10-year-old with a dream is determined to make #RecessForAll

When then 4th grader Zeph Everson saw some of his friends couldn't access the playground at Aracdo Elementary, he knew he needed to make a change. Today, he opened phase 1 of a fully-accessible playground.

A fifth grader with big dreams has helped build a new playground in Gwinnett County. 

Zeph Everson has already raised $72,000 to make sure there is #RecessForAll at Aracdo Elementry School. But he's not stopping there.

He told 11Alive's Kaitlyn Ross he wants every playground in the county to be accessible for all kids. 

This is phase one: To make the Arcado playground fully accessible, he needs $250,000. 

But, to make every playground at Gwinnett County elementary schools accessible - he would need to raise $17 million dollars. 

RELATED: Local student starts 'Recess for all' campaign for inclusive playground 

But everyone who knows Zeph believes he can do it. 

Just two years ago, Zeph wrote a letter to his school principal, telling her he wanted big changes at the playground. The way it was built, some of his friends couldn't get on. 

"A lot of kids were just sitting to the side," he recalled.

Their wheelchairs would sink in to the ground, and some of the playscapes were too high. Zeph's parents said it didn't make sense to him.

"He wants inclusion to be the norm," Zeph's mom Annalisa explained. "He wants it to be shocking when there are boundaries that kids can't get on."

His parents supported his dream to start raising money for #RecessForAll, but never knew just how far it was going to go. 

"It's so awesome that a dream from a little kid came together in a relatively short bit of time," Zeph's dad Justin said. "There's no stopping him." 

RELATED: Local 5th grader starts campaign to stop bullying at her school 

Zeph is now proud to show off the new playground at Arcado Elementry.

"It has bars that kids can hold on to," Zeph described. "You can move blocks around."

Zeph's parents agree - there's no stopping him. But he has a long way to go to reach his goal of making every playground in the state accessible. He's getting it done with the help of his kid crew, who all signed up to make sure all kids can play. And he doesn't just ask for money - Zeph has hosted bake sales, organized fundraising drives, and sold t-shirts.

"He likes everybody and he's friends with everybody," Justin said. "He's a pretty astounding human being."

His parents, his teachers, the other kids - they all believe in him. 

"What I would want to happen ... I would want all kids to be able to play on the playground. Every single kid," Zeph said.

He wants everyone to believe that that can happen. 

"I would tell them that they would be changing the life of a kid forever," he added.

If you want to help Zeph reach his goal, his hashtag is RECESS FOR ALL. 


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