Students at three Burnaby schools are among the more than 25,000 B.C. children in 101 schools throughout B.C. who will have access to new school playgrounds, contributing to their positive health and well-being, now and in the future.
The new playgrounds were made possible through the Playground Equipment Program (PEP). The program includes a $105,000 investment for an accessible playground at Maywood Community school, $90,000 for a standard playground at Second Street Community school and $90,000 for a standard playground at Sperling Elementary school. PEP 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.
“We’re taking the burden off hard-working B.C. parents who previously had to fundraise to ensure their children had access to modern and safe outdoor places to play,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “Today, we are celebrating the official opening of three more school playgrounds as part of our provincial program, which is continuing to make a difference in the lives of students by encouraging them to spend more time playing outdoors and increasing their overall enjoyment of time spent at school, setting them on positive paths forward.”
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. In addition, playing outside is proven to reduce anxiety in children, improve focus and enhance students’ attention spans.
PEP was launched in 2018. Since then, government has invested $10 million to provide 101 new playgrounds to schools throughout the province. Every school district has now received at least one new playground. The program relieves parents of some of the responsibility for fundraising for playground equipment and provides access to communities that do not have the fundraising capacity to buy the playground equipment students need.
School districts in B.C. have the opportunity to apply for the funding by sending a list of priorities in their capital plan submissions in June of each year. Playgrounds are funded based on greatest need. Priority is given to schools where there is no playground, then to schools where the existing playground is aging. School districts that did not receive funding this year may receive funding next year, if they apply for it.
Katrina Chen, MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed –
“As a parent with a child in this school district, I’m so proud that I am part of a government that cares about supporting the well-being of children through creating safe and modern playgrounds so all students can thrive.”
Anne Kang, MLA for Burnaby-Deer Lake –
“It is so great to be here today celebrating another new playground in our community because playgrounds mean so much to children, but also parents and other family and friends. Playgrounds give our community members an opportunity to come together and socialize while giving our children the physical exercise they need to stay healthy.”
Gary Wong, board chair, Burnaby Board of Education –
“A playground is so central to the school experience for a child that it is an investment in both their well-being and education. The funding from the Government of B.C. enabled three new playgrounds in our district. On behalf of the Burnaby Board of Education, I want to extend our sincere appreciation to the Government of B.C.”
Laura Ward, representative, Burnaby Parent Advisory Council –
“As a parent, I'm likely as excited as the children in the three neighborhoods across Burnaby are to see these playgrounds open. What some may view as just a playground is what I view as a safe place for the community to gather outdoors. So, thank you to the Government of B.C. for providing this opportunity to our community and for giving the parents and community members in these three neighborhoods a safe place to gather with their children.”
The Playground Equipment Program: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/capital/programs