Lawton to receive SWOK's first Born Learning Trail


United Way of Southwest Oklahoma has partnered with the City of Lawton for the installation of Southwest Oklahoma’s first Born Learning Trail, an interactive series of outdoor learning games to be placed in Elmer Thomas Park for youth and families.

“After years of dreaming, we are thrilled to finally be able to bring the Born Learning Trail experience to Lawton,” said Lauren Ellis, executive director of UWSWOK. “We’re so grateful for the community partnerships that have helped make this possible.”

Those partnerships include that of the City of Lawton Parks and Recreation Department and the Lawton Enhancement Trust Authority – entities offering support and volunteers for the project – as well as the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness, the foundation which awarded UWSWOK a $5,000 grant to purchase the Born Learning Trail.

According to Ellis, the trail will be the first of its kind to be built in Lawton and second to be built in the state of Oklahoma. Trail activities and signs will be placed on the east, west and north sides of the playground area at the park.

“Our Success by 6 program – which centers around early childhood education – was eligible for this grant as a result of receiving another grant in FY 2017 and completing a Community Assessment and Improvement Plan,” said Sarah Head, UWSWOK community collaborations director. “That plan indicated that there was a need for physical activity and learning activities in Southwest Oklahoma, so we are working to meet that need with this project.”

During installation in June, volunteers will paint sidewalks, stencil shapes and hang signs.

“This is really for families and individuals of all ages,” Ellis said. “It teaches parents how to interact with children and then the children are learning as they are carrying out activities and playing trail games. The experience can extend to older siblings or teachers with children, also. We look forward to seeing the excitement it will bring to the already awesome playground at Elmer Thomas Park.”

Trail installation tops an impressive list of additions and enhancements to Elmer Thomas Park in the last year, some of which include: The Splash Pad, Butterfly Garden and playground shade structure.

Those wishing to learn more about the Born Learning Trail project, may visit



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