Park Avenue parents raising money for playground

They say it takes a community to raise a child, but at Park Avenue Community School, parents are also hoping to raise a playground for their students.

The school’s Parent Advisory Committee is in the process of raising approximately $20,000 for a small piece of playground equipment to help accommodate growing enrolment.

“There are many new neighbourhoods coming in right now and we need to expand the playground,” said Deanna Foreman, past-president of the PAC, who is heading the project.

According to Foreman, the school already has three kindergarten classes, all of which must share a few outdated pieces of equipment on the school’s property at recess.

But because funding for playground equipment is need-based, financial assistance has been hard to come by.

“We’ve applied for many grants but we can’t seem to get approved,” she said. “Our [equipment] is safe enough, but it’s not big enough. There’s one set of swings, one climbing apparatus, there’s not a ton of stuff.”

Over the past five years, the PAC has been putting away savings for the playground upgrade in between fundraising for school activities.

“A lot of money we raise pays for some of their field trips and buses and all that stuff,” Foreman said.

The plan is to have the school district install the new equipment over the summer.

Approximately $15,000 has been raised thus far, and in the coming months, the school will be holding a few more fundraisers to top that amount up. Those will include chocolate sales and a fun fair in June.

Because of the high cost of playground equipment, the $20,000 should cover one structure that will be designed for younger children in mind. The PAC then hopes to continue to fundraise for further playground upgrades as time goes on.

A bottle drive and tree chipping spree over the weekend helped raise $2,400 for the school.

“It opens your heart to see how the community pulls together for things like that – it’s for such a good cause and it makes for so many happy little faces,” Foreman said.

If you’d like to help with the project, please contact Park Avenue School at 250-754-5591.

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