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Richmond students have fun, stay fit with three new playgrounds

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 3:15 PST, Thu November 14, 2019

Recognizing the enormous value of playgrounds to learning, Richmond School Board chair Ken Hamaguchi is lauding the province’s commitment to improving three outdoor play spaces at local schools.

"Playgrounds bring communities together and provide opportunities for outdoor play and learning,” he said, following a celebration attended by Education Minister Rob Fleming on Wednesday in Richmond.

“These beautiful play spaces will undoubtedly serve the Grauer, Kidd and Blundell communities for years to come. We would like to thank and commend everyone who played a role in making these playgrounds possible."

Made possible through the Playground Equipment Program, Blundell, Grauer and Kidd elementary schools received $90,000 investments as part of the government’s commitment to update aging infrastructure in B.C. schools to provide safe learning environments that set children up for success. They also encourage children to share, develop conflict resolution skills and overcome challenges, and help students learn more effectively in the classroom.

Playing outdoors is proven to reduce anxiety in children, improve focus and enhance students' attention spans.

"We are extremely pleased to have a brand new accessible playground at Grauer Elementary," said Dionne McFie, president of the Richmond District Parent Advisory Council. "The playground is a magnificent learning environment where students use their imaginations to create experiences that build lifelong friendships. I applaud the Grauer Elementary School community, the Richmond School District, and the Province of British Columbia for their commitment to creating an inclusive space where each student has the opportunity to learn, grow and play."

Added Fleming: “I'm proud that we invested in playgrounds so children in Richmond, and every corner of the province, can have access to the outdoors on safe and modern playground equipment," said Fleming. "By investing in new playgrounds, we are relieving fundraising pressures on parents and also improving the learning environment for young students because physical activity is proven to help students stay mentally alert."

The Playground Equipment Program was launched in 2018. Since then, government has invested $10 million to provide 101 new playgrounds to schools throughout the province for more than 25,000 children to enjoy.

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