Lambton Centennial fundraising for playground equipment

A group of staff members at Lambton Centennial Public School near Petrolia have started the Panther Playground Project to fundraise for new playground equipment. The group started talking about their plans into the summer break and so far has made a number of additions.

The school was built in 1968 and Teacher Steve McGrail, said there had been equipment removed from the school grounds over the years, but no additions had been made. “There was not much left,” McGrail said when a walk through was made to inspect what kind of equipment the school had and was needed. He said the school grounds are huge with a lot of green space

“We are shooting for the moon,” said McGrail as the group has a goal to raise $75,000. There has been $20,000 already raised. The rejuvenation has been split into three phases with the first phase already complete. New soccer posts and two basketball fun poles have been added on the primary side of the playground so far with a basketball court with poles to have volleyball and badminton nets. A few picnic tables have also been added.

Gaga ball pits, a fitness trail, an outdoor shelter, which can be used as an outdoor classroom or school events are up next for the committee. The fundraising has consisted of tapping into the current families as well as the alumni of the school, and getting local service clubs involved. The hard part is keeping the project’s momentum, going, said McGrail. The school is planning to hold events this school year, which can further raise money for the project and keep the project top of mind. Such things as a fun fair or a movie night could be held later in the year, to further add to the fundraising total.

The focus is making this equipment as accessible as possible for every student. Things like a fitness trail can be paved making it more accessible for students with wheelchairs and walkers. Also doing such things as lowering basketball nets and putting in smaller soccer nets can not only help those who are physically challenged, but the younger students at the elementary school as well.

Blake Ellis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent