Give Our Lions a Place to Roar!
Created September 27, 2011 by Lincoln Lions Playground Committee
Every community needs a place to call their own. Every child needs a place to grow, learn, and become the best that they can be. We believe that happens at Lincoln Centennial Public School! Sharing the support from the Aviva Community Fund would help the students, families, and the community become the best that they can be.
It is hard to really give only one reason why Lincoln Lions deserve to share the Aviva Community Fund. It has been over 5 years since there has been a playground in the community with the closest playground located more than 2km away and across several busy streets. At this point, we have a tarmac for the students to play on with hopscotch & four-square courts, basketball nets, and soccer goals. We have an old beehive style climber that is to be shared by over 100 students at one recess break and a swing structure that has no swings installed because we need new pea-gravel and improved side-barriers. We want to give “Our Lions a Place to Roar with Pride” by building a playground structure for the children and families to come together both during the school day and during family times!
Playing outside, fostering friendships, and building positive relationships are key for children to build the skills to become contributing members of the community. Building a new playground for the families, students, and surrounding area near Lincoln Centennial would create a "Community Hub" that would enhance the lives for all Lincoln Lions ~ current families, new Canadian families, students, honourary supporters and even past alumni.
Lincoln Centennial is the meeting place for many of the families in our urban community which is nestled among commercial buildings, multi-use residential housing, apartment buildings, and established family homes. Many of our students have very little green-space to play and grow in. Currently the school serves a community of over 200 multi-cultural and diverse children from JK to Grade 6. Located in St. Catharines in the heart of the Niagara Peninsula, Lincoln is an inner-city school serving many immigrant, working-class and single-income families with limited resources. It has the distinction of being a well established English as a Second Language (ESL) site school that provides support for new Canadian families. We are also fortunate to be one of the schools to have a Special Needs Class with students that have various restricted mobilities.
Building a playground at Lincoln would give the children in the community and the school a place to build strong friendships, a love of play, and improve the student focus while they are at school. With bullying an issue, having a playground would allow the children to have a place to make positive choices and build these skills outside the classroom. Research has shown that when children interact together on a playground structure they can develop and build valuable social interaction skills ~ as a community we know that is what our Lincoln Lions need.
Most of all though, this playground will not just be for our Lions but for anyone and everyone our community. With our Parent & Family Literacy Centre, a child care centre, and groups such as the Red Roof Respite Program for children with Special Needs, and the John Howard Society's "Step-Up" program, this playground would be used 7 days a week. All the children and families would benefit from having a playground to play together on during leisure times. As you can see, it would bring our community in more ways than one.
The start of the Aviva initiative has really shown how our community - close at home and world-wide - has come together to support each other. Being one of the ideas that shares in the Aviva grant funding would show the students that dreams can become a reality with hardwork and dedication, something that would influence their lives forever.
Our small inner-city school has given their best effort to help raise funds for a new playground. Our students & their families have raised $2000 over the past 4 years to go towards a new playground structure. We have a long way to go to reach the $50,000 required to build a new playground. Realistically, based on the socio-economic background of many of our families, the money to build a playground will take close to 10 years to achieve without Aviva's support.
As a Playground Committee we have contacted 2 separate playground installers and are ready to go when the time comes to implement our dream. Our goal is to have the playground installed by September 2012, so our next generation of Lions could start the school year off with a "Place to ROAR with PRIDE".
Aviva please help us make a difference in the lives of our Lincoln Lions and the community! Help us create a "Community Hub" and continue to live up to the District School Board of Niagara's goal of "Achieving Success Together"!