Surrey-Panorama MLA Jinny Sims attended Goldstone Park Elementary today to celebrate the grand opening of a new playground, one of three new playgrounds recently announced in Surrey.

“Investments in playgrounds are investments in our children,” said Jinny Sims, MLA for Surrey-Panorama. “As a teacher, I am so proud that our government is creating spaces that will allow children in Surrey to play, learn and thrive.”

The playground equipment program provides annual funding for playgrounds at public schools throughout the province. The program was launched in May 2018 by Minister of Education Rob Fleming to relieve the fundraising burdens for parents. Since then $10 million has been invested in 101 new playgrounds, contributing to the positive health and well-being of about 25,000 B.C. children.

Made possible through the Playground Equipment Program (PEP), the funding for new or accessible playgrounds is part of the province’s commitment to update aging infrastructure in B.C. schools to provide safe, enjoyable and accessible learning environments that set children up for success. In Surrey, three schools in 2019 have received a total of $285,000 in funding to build new or accessible playgrounds.

Playgrounds help promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles, encourage children to share, develop conflict resolution skills and overcome challenges, and help students learn more effectively in the classroom. Previously, parents were expected to fundraise tens of thousands of dollars to replace and upgrade school playground equipment. The PEP helps ensure equality among children attending schools with different financial resources and fundraising capacity.

Every school district in the province has now received at least one new playground. School districts in B.C. can apply for the funding by sending a list of priorities in their capital plan submissions in June of each year.