Students at 51 schools throughout the province will have new playgrounds when they return to school in September, as part of a new playground fund that will take fundraising pressure off of parents, announced Premier John Horgan.
Within the Sooke School District (SD62), Poirier Elementary will receive $105,000 for an accessible playground.
This funding is part of a new, ongoing Playground Equipment Program that will provide up to $5 million each year to school districts to buy new or replacement playground equipment. This year, 26 schools are receiving $90,000 for a standard playground, and 25 schools are receiving $105,000 for a universally accessible playground.
Generally, schools’ parent advisory councils (PACs) have to fund raise large sums of money for new and replacement playground equipment. Schools without that capability are often left without playgrounds.
Districts applied for the funding in April 2018, and playgrounds are being funded based on greatest need. Priority is given to schools where there is currently no playground, and then to schools where the existing playground is aging. Districts that did not receive funding this year will receive funding next year, if they apply for it.
Budget 2018 includes a record $2 billion in school capital funding over the next three years, to invest in building new schools in growing communities, fixing aging schools and making schools safer for students in the event of a large earthquake.
Playgrounds are important for children’s development and learning. They encourage outdoor physical activity, and help students learn how to share, work together, overcome challenges and be creative. Outdoor play can help students focus and learn more effectively in the classroom.
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