All kids can play!

The school year is off to a very exciting start for staff and students at Barrie Wilson Elementary School!

Red Deer North MLA Kim Schreiner was on hand at the first assembly of the year to present a cheque from the Community Facility Enhancement Program Grant for a total of $125,000. The money will go towards a new accessible playground, which will help create equity at Barrie Wilson.

“We were really lucky the city had a playground here for us when we opened, but we needed more space and also we have students who can’t access the playground for a variety of reasons. We wanted to make an inclusive, accessible playground that all kids could use,” said Chris Good, principal at Barrie Wilson, adding the accessible playground which totals $250,000, will be built this spring.

Schreiner said she was proud to make the announcement.

“These are the days I love the best - when my community reaches out to me and lets me know that there is a need. To be able to advocate for my community and help to get these grants - it feels amazing to help,” she said. “The first word that resonated with me about this project was inclusion and having an inclusive playground for all - that meant so very much to me and I know it means so very much to all of the families in the community. This is not only for the school, it’s for the whole community and I am very proud to help out.”

Jaelene Tweedle, chair of the Playground Committee at Barrie Wilson, said the school council has been working hard on securing funds for the playground.

“This announcement is great for us as the parent council as this has been our priority. It’s a great feeling for us and we are really grateful,” she said.

Fundraising efforts continue for the project, but Good said they are about 80% there thanks to great partners such as ScotiaBank, McDonalds, Alberta Recycling and Red Deer College, among others.

“It was a fabulous opportunity to be part of the celebration. A priority of the District is equity and this accessible playground will help ensure that all children can play, laugh and engage together,” said Trustee Dianne Macaulay. “This funding from the government is a magnificent gift. Barrie Wilson school is not only a community within itself but is also part of the community of Timberstone. You can see so many families enjoying the playground now whether it is a school day or not. This cheque will assist with further developments to enhance the play area at Barrie Wilson.”