Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy says students at Winlaw Elementary are getting a new accessible playground, thanks to $105,000 in new provincial funding.
“Access to play is a crucial step in a child’s development,” said Conroy. “It builds social connections, creativity and healthy lifestyles. I am proud our government invests in these vital aspects of childhood through initiatives like the playground equipment program.”
Funding for the new playground comes from the new program announced last May by Premier John Horgan and Minister of Education Rob Fleming. The program provides up to $5 million each year to school districts to purchase new or replacement playgrounds. This year, 20 schools are receiving $90,000 for a standard playground, and 30 schools are receiving $105,000 for a universally-accessible playground.
In the past, schools’ parent advisory councils would have to fundraise large sums of money for new and replacement playground equipment, and schools without that capability are left without playgrounds. The new fund ensures that kids don’t have to suffer for years with inadequate or unsafe playground equipment, and that parents can focus their energy on their children’s success.
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.
The New Democrat government has delivered historic levels of funding to B.C. schools, including the biggest operating and capital budgets in B.C. history, an extra $1-billion in classroom funding over 2016/17, and $2.7-billion over three years to build, expand, and seismically upgrade K-12 schools.