Winter is approaching fast, but that is not stopping kids at Eagle View Elementary from being active and staying healthy outdoors with their brand new, safe, modern and accessible playground.
This playground was funded by a $105,000 provincial investment from the Playground Equipment Program (PEP).
“I’m proud to be part of a government that is investing in kids and families through the Playground Equipment Program,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “Playgrounds like the new one at Eagle View Elementary are providing B.C. kids and families with non-stop fun and a place to interact with others while stimulating their minds and keeping healthy.”
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 received at least one new playground. The program relieves parents of some of the responsibility for fundraising for playground equipment and also provides access to communities that do not have the fundraising capacity to buy the play equipment students need.
“We all love taking children to playgrounds because they are a fun, exciting way for children to keep fit and healthy,” said Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin. “Our government is investing in our children’s health and happiness so students at Eagle View Elementary and throughout B.C. have safe, accessible playgrounds to enjoy for many years to come.”
Playgrounds encourage outdoor physical activity, help students learn how to share and overcome challenges – and even help them focus and learn more effectively in the classroom. Playing outdoors has been shown to reduce anxiety, and children without any anxiety are known to have more focus and an increased attention span.
School districts apply for the funding by sending a list of priorities in their capital plan submissions in June each year. Playgrounds are funded based on greatest need. Priority is given to schools without a playground, then to schools where the existing playground is aging. Districts that did not receive funding this year may receive funding next year, if they apply for it.
Ann Whiteaker, vice-chair, Greater Victoria Board of Education –
“Playgrounds bring our students and community together and play an important role in helping youth develop fundamental skills. In the playground, children can joyfully interact and use their imaginations while building positive social, physical and cognitive behaviours. We need to ensure that this experience is available for all youth. We are very excited to introduce accessible play equipment at Eagle View Elementary today because our school district continuously strives to create inclusive spaces where each child has the opportunity to learn, grow and play.”
Sanjiv Galhon, vice-principal, Eagle View Elementary –
“Eagle View Elementary is a small but vibrant school where students, staff and parents work together to promote a cohesive and caring school culture. We pride ourselves in our diverse multicultural population, inclusive classroom settings and our commitment to helping each child reach their personal best. We teach our students to care for each other and the larger community. We teach the importance of working together and being part of a team. What a great example this playground is for showing what can be accomplished when we work together. We would like to thank the Ministry of Education, the Town of View Royal, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Rob Walker of Colwood Dental and finally our parents’ advisory council. This playground was truly a team effort. I personally have watched our students enjoy this new playground and know it will continue to be a place where our students play, learn and grow. Thank you.”
Susan Paquin, parent, Eagle View Elementary –
“On behalf of our Eagle View Elementary family – our staff, parents, and of course, our students – we would like to thank everyone who helped make this playground a reality. Certainly, without the generosity of everyone here today, we would not be celebrating this grand opening. We are proud to live in a province, and be within a school district, that celebrates diversity and values inclusiveness. It’s really wonderful to see all of our students being able to play together on our new playground. Thank you.“
Alina Carrie, student, Eagle View Elementary –
“I like the new playground because it has more activities than the other playground. I want to thank the government for funding it, and thank you to grades 4 and 5 from last year for chipping in with their 10% from last year’s entrepreneurial fair.”
- More than 25,000 children will be able to enjoy new playgrounds at 101 schools throughout B.C.
The Playground Equipment Program: