Prison Yard Playground
Created October 17, 2009 by Elizabeth Barnett
King George School is a Kindergarten to grade eight school with approximately 360 students in the city of Brantford, Ontario. For approximately one year now, King George Schools' Playground Committee and its community have been actively working on improving their school playground. Our Playground Committee has attended "greening" workshops and have gained valuable knowledge on constructing an environmentally healthy playground. Our goal is to provide shaded playground structures to develop the student's large motor skills, sports field for large group activity, shaded passive areas for students to develop their social skills, shaded small group creative play areas and shaded outdoor classroom and learning centres.
Until this past summer, our school yard looked like a prison yard (fenced in asphalt with a strip of grass and few trees). With the funds raised so far, through sponsors, yard sales, fun fairs, spell-a-thon and shading grants, we have torn up a large portion of asphalt and replace it with sod, created a mini soccer field, place some seating rocks for an outdoor clasroom and are awaiting three trees to be planted. Thus, completing the first phase of our School Yard Greening and Activities Improvement Project.
The next phase in our project is to provide three separate shaded playground structures, one for each divisional group, primary/junior, intermediate and senior. Presently, there is no structured playground in the immediate area for the children to enjoy. A well diverse playground is very much needed in this community. In partnership with our school board, The Grand Erie District School Board, we are determined and devoted to enriching the children not only academically but physicallly, emotionally and socially improving the overall health and well being of the students and community members. With the greening changes we have made this far, there has already been a positive change in play on the playground and great reviews from community members.
A survey was given to the students and data analysis shows they are very much enjoying and utilizing what has been accomplished this far. However, they have great ideas for more improvements. Such as swings, slides, playground structures and shaded seating areas to name just a few, seem to be very popular ideas in each age group.
With the completion of our first phase of the project, we as a committee have begun sourcing playground equipment and trees thus noting the large cost involved in purchasing three main separate, age appropriate playground structures and well developed trees for shading throughout the playground area. With being awarded a significant grant our project could be executed and completed within a year's time. Resulting in an immediate, positive, rewarding outcome for the students and community involved in implementing this project.
This project benefits the students and community now and for future years to come 'Leaving a Legacy'. All the positive verbal reviews and responses from children have given us the motivation to aggressively continue on with our playground makeover. Please join us in making this playground makeover possible, to make a difference in our lives today and for future families.
King George School
**Update:** Thank-you to all who joined in the celebration ceremony honouring the completion of Phase 1 in our School Yard Greening and Activities Improvement Project. What a terrific accomplishment thus far. This has been possible due to your continued dedicated support in any way possible. Congratulations!
Moving forward, King George School is now pursuing the design phase of our project. Recently communicating with a board approved Playground Consultant. The consultant is currently in the process of designing a well balanced, creative playground plan.
Estimated budget for a grand playground to include playground structures, rubberized matting, tress, activity and seating centre’s $100,000.00.