Jack and Jill Parent Participation Preschool celebrated its 41st anniversary of healthy, active, living and learning recently with the completion of a its new playscape project.
On Oct. 22, preschool parents and staff held an opening celebration at the school where Gibsons Coun. LeeAnn Johnson cut a ribbon with the kids and the community was invited to share their new playscape.
"The parents and teachers thought that there is no better way to honour the great tradition of our school than to renew and rejuvenate Jack and Jill by building a new playscape and improving the indoor and outdoor resources of the building," said Natalie Clark who helped co-ordinate the fundraising efforts for the project.
"Our goal was to create a welcoming natural playscape for the enjoyment and benefit of the entire community that encourages, inspires and brings children and families back to nature. We have designed the space to help nurture physical, emotional and creative development in young children."
The parents networked with family foundations and community members including businesses and parents to access building supplies, time, money and talent.
Krystal Beley and Clark helped organize a fall fair and worked with Tim Hortons on their Smile Cookies campaign to raise the necessary funds. As well, grants from Toyota Ever-green Learning Grounds and John Hardie Mitchell Family Foundation were applied for.
June 12 marked the beginning of the project with more than 15 different families andseveral community members joining in on the "playground take down" party.
"We have had overwhelming support from the community and have raised over $31,925 in both funds and in-kind donations," Clark said. "This has allowed us to build a rock river bed with a waterfall and old-fashioned pump, bring in two huge pieces of driftwood as climbing apparatus, created a cool sandbox out of rocks and even added a row boat to add to the West Coast space. We look forward to sharing our natural playscape with our entire community so we can all get back to nature.
"We would like to thank all Jack and Jill Preschool parents and business supporters on the Coast."