For The Love Of Play

In grade school, recess is the part of the day a child looks forward to. Recess is a time when children bond and it’s very important to their development.

When preparing for recess, children jump up and put on the appropriate gear, depending on the weather.  During winter, they would probably put on a coat, hat, scarf, gloves and maybe boots. It usually takes a child without a disability about a minute or two to dress for recess. If they have a disability, it could hinder him or her from having the fine and gross motor skills needed to pull off the dressing task, this process could either take a lot longer or in some cases, this mission is impossible to accomplish at all.

Nevertheless, whether a child can dress their self or not, what child wants to miss recess? That’s the only fun school event that doesn’t involve work!

Nine year old, Zoey Harrison, who was born with cerebral palsy, was missing out on recess due to the lengthy time it took to get her coat on.  Zoey shared with her mother, Jennifer, that by the time she would get everything on, recess would be over. I’m sure she was bummed; I know I would’ve been.

After sharing this problem with her mom, Zoey came up with a brilliant idea. Zoey asked her mother if she would create a garment that would be easy to put on so she wouldn’t miss recess. Of course Jennifer accepted the challenge and with a few ideas and sketches, the Bodycoat was born. The Bodycoat consist of two coats sewed together with a few modifications to create a simple easy onesie type coat.

Check out this link to view Zoey’s story and coat:

Since creating the Bodycoat, Jennifer has received many requests for the unique coat and with a little assistance, is now selling them online through her very own website.

If it had not been for Zoey advocating for herself, she would still be missing recess. Not only has she made recess a reality for herself, but also made it possible for many others. I must also say, those who wear this coat will not only be warm but very much in style because they’re very fashionable. I bet Zoey had a lot to do with that!

There is a saying “either you’re born with it or not” and Zoey was definitely born with it. She’s only nine and changing the world. By the time she’s nineteen, I predict she’ll be a household name!

6 comments on “For The Love Of Play

  1. Jerome Haney on

    I recall having seen the story on the national news or perhaps on PBS. I was touch to see that if she can overcome things that seem disadvantage, then I too should be able. In my faith journey I am mindful of the saying, “and a child shall lead the way.” Thanks for sharing, and I enjoyed your presentation and tour on yesterday.

    • Shari Cooper on

      Thanks Jerome!
      That’s so true “and a child shall lead the way” just like Zoey. So happy you enjoyed my disability awareness presentation during new hire orientation. I love presenting!

  2. Mary Pfeil on

    I saw this story too on ABC News. Zoey impresses me as a great advocate for herself. I agree with Shari, Zoey is destined to do great things for herself and others now and in the future. Kudos to her mother for creating this coat so Zoey could enjoy playing with her friends at recess. It is neat how many parents were ordered this coat for their own children.


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