I have been a Nanny since 1997, and absolutely love my job. I have also written freelance articles for more than 30 publications, both print and online, but now have switched to writing books. Inclusive Playgrounds: Play for Every Child is my first book I published. I am currently writing a book about finding and hiring childcare, with the intended release date of Fall 2016.
“This book will help playing side-by-side at the playground to occur and will also help with anti-bullying, and cultivate friendships, understanding and tolerance among all students.” –Melissa Martz
Welcome to my blog, Melissa. Please tell us about Play for Every Child.
Inclusive Playground: Play for Every Child tells the story of one family's quest of implementing a fully inclusive playground in their neighbourhood so their daughter who has special needs could play alongside her friends, and not watch them from the sidelines. I also give a glimpse to several other inclusive playgrounds throughout Ontario. This book gives you the framework of how one would go about bringing an inclusive playground to their community. Even though this book features playgrounds in Ontario, Canada, they are universally designed.
Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
I read an article in our local newspaper about the Meissner family, and their plight to bring a fully inclusive playground to their town of Elmira, Ontario. This twinged my interest in what an inclusive playground was. I emailed Kelly (Kate's Mom) to see what I could do to help. I wrote an article for a Canadian magazine called “Abilities” about inclusive playgrounds, and then a second article for a local magazine here in Kitchener called “Grand” Living Well in Waterloo Region. But still I felt I needed to do more, as in 2025 all public playgrounds in Ontario are suppose to be fully inclusive, and I found no resources available on the topic...with Canadian content; thus the birth of the book came. Inclusive Playgrounds: Play for Every Child was released on September 18, 2015
What kind of research did you do?
I researched with ABC Recreation Ltd (the Canadian version of Landscape Structures Ltd). Nancy Lochner of ABC Recreation Ltd was phenomenal! I went online and began searching for other inclusive playgrounds in Ontario.
Teachers are using it as a resource to help teach the concept of inclusion and disabilities to their students. The book has several photos, so kids will enjoy looking at the photos to determine what playground features they like best.
Where can my readers find you online?
You can find my book online at: http://www.volumesdirect.com/SearchResult.aspx?KeyWords=Martz
My website has several of my freelance articles at: www.melissamartz.com
I am on Facebook. I am on Twitter. My Twitter handle is @write_nanny and I am on Instagram: melissa.martz
Thank you so much for this interview, Melissa. I hope you will be able to educate the public about this important matter. All children need to be included at playgrounds.