BURNABY – New Democrat MLA Raj Chouhan said today that students at Suncrest Elementary in Burnaby can finally enjoy a new playground, thanks to funding from the provincial government.
“The children at Suncrest desperately needed a new playground,” said the Burnaby-Edmonds MLA. “Childhood is over too soon, and it’s not fair to make kids wait years while parents struggle to raise funds. Our government recognized that, and created this new annual fund to help.”
Funding for the new playground came from the Playground Equipment Program that Premier John Horgan and Minister of Education Rob Fleming announced in May 2018. The program provides up to $5 million each year for school districts to purchase new or replacement playgrounds.
In 2018, 26 schools received $90,000 for a standard playground, and 25 schools received $105,000 for a universally accessible playground, according to needs identified by each school district.
New Democrat MLA for Burnaby North Janet Routledge represented the government at the grand opening held today at the school.
“We made a promise to parents that they would no longer have to spend their precious time fundraising in order for their kids to have safe playground equipment,” said Routledge. “With this new fund, playgrounds are now being built where they are needed most, not just in well-off communities.”
In the past, many parent advisory councils would have to fundraise large sums of money for new and replacement playground equipment, and schools without that capacity could be left without playgrounds.
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.