PITT MEADOWS – Local MLA Lisa Beare says students at Highland Park Elementary School are getting a new accessible playground, thanks to $105,000 in new provincial funding.
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, 20 schools are receiving $90,000 for a standard playground, and 30 schools are receiving $105,000 for a universally-accessible playground.
“All children should have access to playgrounds that are safe and fun,” said Beare. “This funding fulfills our commitment to support parents and students who were previously burdened with fundraising for playgrounds. Time on the playground will help students focus more in the classroom.”
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.
Beare added that playgrounds are important for children’s development and learning as they encourage outdoor physical activity, help students learn how to share, work together, overcome challenges and be creative.
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.