DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — Premier John Horgan announced today that 51 schools across the province, including Frank Ross Elementary in Dawson Creek – will get new playgrounds in September as part of a new playground fund that will take fundraising pressure off of parents.
Horgan said that the funding is part of a new, ongoing Playground Equipment Program that will provide up to $5 million each year to school districts to buy new or replacement playground equipment. This year, 26 schools are receiving $90,000 for a standard playground, and 25 schools are receiving $105,000 for a universally accessible playground. School Disitrct 59 will be getting $90,000 for the construction of the new playground.
“All students deserve quality, safe and accessible playgrounds at school, regardless of how much their parents can fundraise,” said Horgan. “That’s why we’re lifting the burden off of parents by investing $5 million today, and every year moving forward, to build playgrounds where they are needed most.”
The government said that generally, school parent advisory councils have to fundraise large sums of money for new and replacement playground equipment. The Ministry said that districts applied for the funding in April, with the new playgrounds being funded based on areas with the greatest need. Priority is given to schools where there is currently no playground, and then to schools where the existing playground is aging. Districts that did not receive funding this year will receive funding next year, if they apply for it.
“I’ve heard from parents that they need relief from fundraising tens of thousands of dollars for playground equipment – that’s a lot of bake sales and bottle drives for today’s busy parents,” said Education Minister Rob Fleming. “Today, we’re delivering this fund to help parents, and provide access to communities that don’t have the fundraising capacity to buy the play equipment students need.”