Strong Start kids and kindergarteners at Cedar Elementary have been excluded from the school playground due to safety concerns.
Recently, a group of parents set out to change that.
“The PAC (Parent Advisory Council) decided that given our school was starting full-day K in September 2001/2012 and given our Strong Start has one of the highest enrolments, a smaller and safer playground would benefit both young children play groups at Cedar,” said principal Gwendolyn Flynn. “It also provides a community playground for our neighbourhood which is booming with younger children.”
The Adventure Playground at the school is geared towards kids five-years-old and older, and not safe for the younger students to play on.
Flynn said some of the kids who enter kindergarten in the fall are not yet five-years-old which poses a safety issue for the class.
“In order to ensure their safety, until all the students had turned five they played outside in a separate area, under cover with playground equipment,” Flynn said.
Children in the Strong Start program, a play-based early learning program facilitated by Early Childhood Educators for kids from birth to 5-years-old, play in the school’s gym.
Strong Start parents have joined forces with the school’s Parent Advisory Council and have their eye on purchasing an Old MacDonald’s Farm playground.
Lindsay Rosse, a Strong Start parent, said the school needs to raise $6,000 to secure the playground. School Districts do not fund playgrounds.
Wal-Mart and Grieg Seafood have already chipped in to help with the playground costs as well as Windsor Mill Sales which donated $700 worth of pressure-treated wood to go around the base of the playground. Rosse said the school is also hoping for a donation of playground-rated pea gravel.
The school’s largest fundraiser is a silent auction, slated for Wed., March 28 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in the Cedar gym.
So far, Rosse has amassed more than $1,500 worth of items from local businesses. Everything from a $300 teeth whitening treatment, to a family dinner at Fusilli Grill, to jewelry, to a basin faucet. Rosse, who attended Cedar as a child, said she hopes to not only raise enough for the playground but enough to help the school in other areas of need.
“Anything over that we raise we will give back to the school for the breakfast program,” Rosse said. “That school’s in such need. They’re a low income school.”