VANCOUVER – Local MLAs Adrian Dix, David Eby and George Chow say students in Vancouver are getting new universally accessible playgrounds, thanks to $350,000 in provincial funding announced by the Minister of Education today.
John Norquay, University Hill and Waverly elementary schools are each receiving $105,000 for new accessible playgrounds.
Funding for the new playground comes the new Playground Equipment 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, the New Democrat government is funding 50 new playgrounds in 34 school districts around B.C. – including 30 universally accessible playgrounds.
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.
“Play is important for all children. After years of underfunding from the previous government, we’re making sure that playground funding is increased and is spread around fairly, not just to schools that can fundraise easily. Today’s announcement is great news for the children and families at John Norquay Elementary.” – Adrian Dix, MLA for Vancouver-Kingsway
“When U Hill’s playground was condemned and torn down, parents and kids were heartbroken while teachers and administration made the best of a difficult situation. This funding for a replacement playground is very exciting news. It’s a great example of our government working with local communities to make life better for British Columbians of all ages.” – David Eby, MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey
“Safe and accessible opportunities for play are essential to the health of students. Parents at Waverly Elementary can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they will no longer shoulder the burden of inadequate funding for inclusive playgrounds for their kids. Today’s announcement is part of a new chapter in BC—one where the growth and safety of our students is our top priority.” – George Chow, MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview
Learn More: Funding provides thousands of students with new school playgrounds. https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019EDUC0023-000409