MIL-OSI Canada: New, accessible school playgrounds open for students

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Source: Government of Canada regional news

Extra provincial playground funding for the seventh year means more fun for students and families in modern and safe playgrounds.

“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. Our government is thrilled to ensure communities throughout the province gain better access to modern playgrounds for everyone’s benefit.”

In 2024, the Province is providing funding for 26 more playgrounds in 26 school districts, each receiving $195,000. This investment in playgrounds promotes physical activity for kids, teaches social skills, such as sharing, and helps them develop life skills, such as conflict resolution. The playgrounds are also designed to be accessible for children of all abilities.

Last year’s provincial investment of $5 million supported 25 new school playgrounds – 20 are complete, while the remaining are close to ready. Building new accessible playgrounds is part of the government’s priority to ensure students have positive learning and play spaces, no matter where they live. 

Since 2018, the government has supported students and families, allocating $40 million toward new playgrounds at 282 schools, benefiting more than 70,000 students. Every school district has received at least one playground since the program started in 2018. Some schools received funding for multiple playgrounds for the communities to enjoy.     

Budget 2024 includes $3.75 billion for school capital projects over the next three years, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and land purchases for future schools.

Quotes:

Garry Begg, MLA for Surrey-Guildford –

“Aside from being fun spots, playgrounds are an essential part of a child’s growth. This investment in playground equipment by the government will provide students ample opportunities for learning, social interaction and physical activity.”

Laura Ward, president, BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils –

“On behalf of all parents and caregivers, thank you to the B.C. government for giving busy parent advisory council volunteers the opportunity to focus their time and energy into community building, instead of fundraising for costly playground equipment. The continued investment in new, accessible playgrounds provides children, staff and community members safe, inclusive and welcoming outdoor spaces to gather and connect. This, in turn, helps create happy and healthier communities.”

Laurie Larsen, chair, Surrey School Board –

“Playgrounds are so important to our communities. They are spaces that not only promote physical activity, but provide opportunities for children to improve motor skills, learn teamwork, develop decision-making, nurture friendships, and so much more. And with accessible playgrounds like this new one at Holly, everyone can play and belong.”

Learn More: 

To learn more about Playground Equipment Program, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/capital/programs 

A backgrounder follows.

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