SMITHERS – Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson said students in Smithers and Atlin are getting new playgrounds, thanks to $195,000 in provincial funding announced by the Premier and Minister of Education today.
“Families deserve a modern playground no matter where they live in B.C.”, said Donaldson, who is also the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Under the previous government, parent groups had to come up with matching dollars in order to have a new playground, but now our government is freeing them of that burden. Children should have an up-to-date and safe place to play.”
Muhiem Elementary in Smithers is receiving $105,000 for a new accessible playground and Atlin School in Atlin is receiving $90,000 for a standard 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 purchase new or replacement playgrounds, and fulfills a central NDP campaign promise. 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 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 will ensure 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.
See the Provincial news release here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0023-000863