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Playground Equipment Grants

In May 2007 the Ministry of Education announced playground funding support for the government’s ActNow BC goal of encouraging B.C. kids to increase physical activity levels and the ActNow BC campaign goal to “make every move a good move.” ActNow BC is a partnership-based cross-ministry health and wellness initiative that promotes healthy living choices to improve the quality of life for all British Columbians.

The Ministry of Education gave $1 million to BCCPAC to support PACs to replace or rebuild playground equipment. The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General also contributed $1 million in 2007, from community gaming grants, and then another $1 million each year for 2008 and 2009.

A volunteer Ad Hoc Playground Grant Committee was created in the summer of 2007 and came up with criteria around the distribution of the funds given to BCCPAC. Members of the committee were a selection of parents from different districts, whose children were no longer attending an elementary or middle school, along with two Board members. The first piece of data that the committee reviewed was a BCCPAC member survey done in May, 2007. This survey was the first indication that there is a tremendous need for playground equipment replacement in schools. While BCCPAC had no way of knowing how many applications would be received and how much the applicants would require, it was obvious that the $1 million would not be adequate to meet the need. After lengthy discussions on the information that was available and the diversity of views from the committee, the committee reached consensus to allocate the grants by a lottery, which was clearly stated on the application form.

An application timeline of September 1 until November 30, 2007 was established for member PACs (elementary and middle school or Kindergarten to Grade 8) to submit the Playground Equipment Grant Application Form requesting funds up to a maximum of $20,000 per PAC. The Committee decided the grants would be allocated according to those who requested less than $10,000 and those who requested more than $10,000.

A total of 633 applications were received and a total of $11,913,889,92 was requested in these applications. A total of 66 schools received grants; 21 in the less than $10,000 category and 45 in the greater that $10,000 category.

The selection of the PACs that would receive grants was done through a draw. Numbers were assigned to each applicant. A label with the number was produced and affixed to each application form. Daniel Lau, then BCCPAC Accounting Clerk, drew the numbers. He had no knowledge of which PAC he was drawing. The draw was witnessed by an independent person who has no connections to BCCPAC or children in the public education system.

Once a number was drawn it was recorded on two separate forms by two volunteers. At the end of the draw, two different volunteers reconciled the numbers with each applicable PAC and prepared a list of the grant recipients. This list was double checked by volunteers to ensure accuracy and then forwarded to the Ministry of Education. The Ministry announced the recipients and the amounts they would receive when it published its news release.

Here are the 66 schools who were awarded the playground equipment grant from BCCPAC:

  •     05 Southeast Kootenay, Gordon Terrace Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     20 Kootenay-Columbia, Maclean Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     23 Central Okanagan, Oyama Traditional School, $7,000.00
  •     27 Cariboo-Chilcotin, Likely Elementary-Jr. Secondary, $16,000.00
  •     28 Quesnel, Dragon Lake Elementary, $9,000.00
  •     28 Quesnel, Kersley Elementary, $9,000.00
  •     33 Chilliwack, Robertson Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     34 Abbotsford, Mountain Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     34 Abbotsford, Abbotsford Middle, $20,000.00
  •     34 Abbotsford, Terry Fox Elementary, $9,745.00
  •     36 Surrey, Ecole McLeod Road Elementary, $13,000.00
  •     36 Surrey, Fraser Wood Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     36 Surrey, Latimer Road Elementary, $7,500.00
  •     36 Surrey, Lena Shaw Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     36 Surrey, Maple Green Elementary, $5,500.00
  •     36 Surrey, Port Kells Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     36 Surrey, Semiahmoo Trail Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     37 Delta, Cliff Drive Elementary, $8,713.76
  •     37 Delta, Heath Elementary, $10,000.00
  •     38 Richmond, Jessie Wowk Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     38 Richmond, Kingswood Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     38 Richmond, Manoah Steves Elementary, $6,579.43
  •     39 Vancouver, Emily Carr Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     39 Vancouver, General Gordon Elementary, $19,487.00
  •     39 Vancouver, General Wolfe Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     39 Vancouver, Lord Roberts-Annex, $20,000.00
  •     39 Vancouver, Queen Mary Elementary, $10,000.00
  •     39 Vancouver, Sir Richard McBride Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     41 Burnaby, Montecito Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     42 Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, Alouette Elementary, $3,500.00
  •     42 Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, Davie Jones Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     42 Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, Golden Ears Elementary, $8,000.00
  •     42 Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     42 Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, Pitt Meadows Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     43 Coquitlam, Glen Elementary, $5,000.00
  •     43 Coquitlam, Minnekhada Middle, $20,000.00
  •     43 Coquitlam, Seaview Community School, $17,000.00
  •     44 North Vancouver, Dorothy Lynas Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     44 North Vancouver, Lynn Valley Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     45 West Vancouver, Cedardale Primary, $6,500.00
  •     45 West Vancouver, West Bay Elementary, $19,000.00
  •     46 Sunshine Coast, Sechelt Elementary, $17,297.62
  •     52 Prince Rupert, Lax Kxeen Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     54 Bulkley Valley, Quick Elementary, $5,000.00
  •     57 Prince George, Beaverly Elementary, $7,493.40
  •     59 Peace River South, Little Prairie Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     61 Greater Victoria, Colquitz Middle, $20,000.00
  •     61 Greater Victoria, Ecole Intermediaire Cedar Hill Middle, $7,500.00
  •     61 Greater Victoria, Ecole Willows Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith, Davis Road Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith, Fairview Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith, Woodbank Primary, $20,000.00
  •     69 Qualicum, Arrowview Elementary, $6,000.00
  •     72 Campbell River, Ocean Grove Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     73 Kamloops/Thompson, John Tod Elementary, $9,000.00
  •     73 Kamloops/Thompson, McGowan Park Elementary, $3,000.00
  •     75 Mission, Albert McMahon Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     75 Mission, Cherry Hill Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     75 Mission, Stave Falls Elementary, $6,400.00
  •     79 Cowichan Valley, Maple Bay Elementary, $3,000.00
  •     83 North Okanagan-Shuswap, Grindrod Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     83 North Okanagan-Shuswap, M.V. Beattie Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     85 Vancouver Island North, Robert Scott Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     85 Vancouver Island North, Sunset Elementary, $20,000.00
  •     91 Nechako Lakes, Fort Fraser Elementary, $2,855.00
  •     93 Conseil scolaire francophone, Les Voyageurs, $20,000.00

In September 2008 there were changes to the Playground Grant Program based on feedback from stakeholders and the general public. The intake period for applications for the 2008/09 playground grants was held from September 15 to November 30, 2008. The requirement for matching funds was eliminated. As not all schools in British Columbia have fully functioning Parent Advisory Councils (PAC), the rules were changed to make it easier for these schools to apply for a playground grant. A service organization could apply on behalf of students in a school without a PAC or may partner with a PAC to complete their grant application. This was to ensure that all B.C. schools have an opportunity to apply for funds to help upgrade their playground facilities.

Playground Funding Update:

In September 2011 Premier Christy Clark announced $8 million for 44 new playgrounds and playground upgrades for schools across British Columbia to help provide safe play spaces for kids to be happy and healthy. To ensure that every public elementary school has a playground for students from the time they open, the Ministry of Education will be amending their capital project agreement with school districts to include the installation of playground equipment when building an elementary school.

These 44 new school playgrounds and more than one hundred upgraded, replaced or recently installed playgrounds are thanks to $8 million over two years from the province. Public elementary and middle schools province wide will be eligible for the playground funding, which will ensure that every public elementary school – and every middle school that wants one – will have a playground for their students. Currently there are about 1,347 public elementary and middle schools in B.C. – 44 of which have been identified as having no playground equipment at all – and these are the schools that will be given first priority.

The Ministry of Education is working with school districts and parent advisory councils in the province to identify schools that had playgrounds built this year that will benefit from up to $50,000 in reimbursements. The remaining funds will go towards upgrading or replacing equipment at existing public school playgrounds.

Over the past 10 years, government has spent more than $1.8 billion to complete 83 new and replacement schools, 149 school additions, 26 renovations and 22 site acquisitions across British Columbia. In the same time, the Province has committed more than $3.9 billion to school capital and maintenance projects, including school playgrounds.

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