New accessible playgrounds to be built at 6 Island schools

New accessible playgrounds to be built at 6 Island schools
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John Muir Elementary is one of six Island schools receiving funding for a new accessible playground.

The province is providing 26 schools $195,000 each to build new accessible playgrounds, six of which are on Vancouver Island.

John Muir Elementary in the Sooke School District (SD62), Deep Cove Elementary in the Saanich School District (SD63), Mountain View Elementary with Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District (SD68), Valley View Elementary in Comox Valley School District (SD71), Cortes Island School in the Campbell River School District (SD72) and Cheslakees Elementary in the Vancouver Island North School District (SD85) are the six Island schools receiving the funding.

“Playgrounds enhance our kids’ well-being,” said Rachna Singh, minister of education and child care. “These are spaces where children can truly be themselves, where they express their joy, and learn valuable social skills.”

This latest round of funding builds on work the province has been doing to expand the number of accessible playgrounds in B.C., and says $40 million has been allocated for this work since 2018.

The province says every school district now has an accessible playground.

READ PREVIOUS FROM 2022: Three Island schools receive funding to build accessible playgrounds

This funding is through the Playground Equipment Program, which gives school districts money to purchase and install new or replacement playground equipment that is universal in design, meaning it can be used by as many people as possible.

“To meet the range of students’ needs in designing playgrounds to include every child, school districts should consider all physical, mental, intellectual, learning, communication or sensory impairment – or functional limitations – whether permanent, temporary or episodic in nature, that in interaction with a barrier, hinders a person’s full and equal participation in society,” the Playground Equipment Program information page says.

“This equipment is to be permanently fixed on a school site and include appropriate ground cover for fall protection, improved access, and increased mobility.”

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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