Equipment invites all children to experience the joy of play

·3 min read

The efforts of a fundraising campaign that began in 2018 finally came to fruition as KTTPS staff, parents and students cut the ribbon on its new accessible playground equipment, on Dec. 14.

Elaine Slade is the mother of a KTTPS student and member of the KTTPS home and school association playground committee. She said in an earlier interview with The Kincardine Independent that the previous equipment was dated and not accessible to students with different needs.

“In 2018 we realized that our playground wasn’t accessible and not all the children were able to use it, so we wanted to build a playground that all of our students could benefit from,” said Slade.

After receiving quotes estimating what it would cost to replace the equipment, the association embarked on an ambitious fundraising project with a goal of raising $53,000. While the pandemic hampered the execution of some of its fundraising events, money slowly but surely began to come in through pizza days, milk days and fun fairs. The association also received grants from Community Foundation Grey Bruce ($3,000) and Canada’s Farmers Grow Communities ($2,500). Individuals in the community contributed $2,300.

The equipment purchased includes a bucket swing, valued at over $6,000. The second piece of equipment is a play structure that features low stairs and wide stairs with railings. Both pieces accommodate children with limited core strength, allowing them to climb onto equipment unassisted and take part in playground activities. The play structure also features a double slide and a mini ice cream shop.

“If the children are not able, if they don’t have enough core strength to go on the big swings, they can climb on this bucket swing by themselves and are able to play with the other children,” said Slade. “The value of that is that all of our children get a chance to go on the swings and play together.”

The staff at KTTPS is very appreciative of the efforts of the association.

“It’s been amazing for us and it’s a really great thing for all the kids at the school, its accessible so everyone can participate,” said principal Graham Martin. “The teachers are loving it. It’s a great feeling when you come out into the yard and you see all sorts of things for kids to do and you see them laughing and having fun and it’s just great – we’re very, very grateful to them.”

With the playground project complete, the home and school association have another project lined up, which will hopefully be completed in the spring. The school has an outdoor classroom that the association would like to add a picnic shelter to.

“We’d like to have a covered shelter that can actually hold more than one class at a time and protect them (students) from the sun and the weather,” said Slade.

The shelter has an $11,000+ price tag, and Slade said she hopes to partner with KDSS and have students participate in the build.

Tammy Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent

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