Surrey – New Democrat MLAs Rachna Singh and Jinny Sims say students at Senator Reid Elementary and TE Scott Elementary will soon be playing on new accessible playgrounds, thanks to $330,000 in provincial funding, along with $2,236,379 in funding for school upgrades.
“I am proud of this government’s continuing commitment to supporting kids and schools first,” said Surrey-Green Timbers MLA Rachna Singh. “These accessible playgrounds are vital to ensure that all children regardless of their abilities can laugh, play and be active with their peers”.
“As a mother and teacher, I understand how important outdoor play and playgrounds are in developing healthy and active kids,” said MLA Jinny Sims of Surrey-Panorama. “I am so proud of our government for prioritizing the needs of people and funding accessible and safe playgrounds, so our children are equipped to develop into the leaders of tomorrow.”
This year, New Democrats are doubling the annual investment to $10 million to deliver 60 new playgrounds in 50 school districts. The Surrey School District received $165,000 for each new accessible playground, up $40,000 from previous years. This increase will allow the playgrounds to be designed with accessible features like ground cover, ramps and/or transfer platforms that connect to the play structure – to ensure there’s a place for all students to play. The playgrounds will be built over the next year and are expected to be ready for kids to play on by early 2022.
Playgrounds help kids stay active outdoors while learning to share, build conflict resolution skills and overcome challenges. Playing outside reduces anxiety and improves focus, helping kids to learn in the classroom.
This funding comes from the Playground Equipment Program (PEP), created in 2018 to reduce the burden of fundraising on parents and help communities buy the playground equipment students need. Since 2018, the New Democrat government has invested $25 million to fund 201 new playgrounds at schools throughout the province, benefiting more than 49,000 students.
Students will also benefit from upgraded and more energy-efficient learning environments, with $240.5 million in school maintenance grants distributed across the province this year. The Surrey School District received $2,236,379 this year for projects which include:
- HVAC upgrades at Beaver Creek Elementary
- Plumbing upgrades at A H P Matthew Elementary, Colebrook Elementary, George Greenaway Elementary, Green Timbers Elementary, Invergarry Adult Education Centre, Jessie Lee Elementary and JT Brown Elementary
- Roofing Upgrades at Ocean Cliff Elementary
- Energy systems upgrades at Brookside Elementary
Annual facilities maintenance grants have also supported school districts to plan and budget for upgrades and maintenance to school ventilation as students return to class. These investments are a part of the Province’s commitment to update infrastructure in B.C. schools to provide safe, enjoyable, and accessible learning environments. The New Democrat government has delivered historic levels of funding to B.C. schools, including $1.2 billion for new and improved schools for B.C. students in Budget 2021.
School maintenance grants: https://news.gov.bc.ca/24466