Surrey: Surrey-Fleetwood MLA Jagrup Brar and Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon said students at Janice Churchill Elementary in Surrey and Chalmers Elementary in Delta are getting a new playground, thanks to $105,000 in provincial funding to each of the schools announced by the Premier and Minister of Education.
“For far too long, the burden of paying for quality, safe, and accessible playgrounds at school was put on parents to fundraise,” said MLA Jagrup Brar. “Parents of students at Janice Churchill Elementary can rest assured that our government will provide funding to build a new playground to allow children to play in a safe and accessible playground.”
“Parents already lead such busy lives, and having to fundraise tens of thousands of dollars for school playgrounds adds to the stress,” said MLA Ravi Kahlon, “Today’s investment will help relieve some stress for parents at Chalmers Elementary, and provide students with a quality, safe, and accessible new playground to be enjoyed for years to come.”
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.