School may be out for the summer, but excitement for the year ahead is already building for students at one Saanich school.
Torquay elementary school is the recipient of $100,000 that will go towards the construction of a new playground. But it was more than luck that will make a new playground a reality at the Gordon Head school. The funding comes from the BCAA Play Here contest, with the top prize going to both Torquay elementary and the Lillooet Rec Centre. Both facilities garnered more than 125,000 votes in the month-long online competition, and it was decided to provide both with $100,000 for their playgrounds.
Torquay’s playground was torn down last year, leaving only wood chips and rubber tires for the students to play on during recess. The school’s PAC had raised about $27,000 but that figure was well short of what would be needed for even a basic playground.
And that’s when Torquay’s students, along with their parents and teachers, got down to work. They launched a Facebook campaign, plastered posters up around the community, distributed pamphlets at local events, doing whatever they could to spread the work among friends, family and anyone else who would listen.
While the ultimate goal was a great place to play for Torquay students and other neighbourhood children, the ultimate prize in all of this might just be the valuable lesson learned by these students. They have learned the value of working towards a goal and the strength of community, they have learned that nothing is out of reach to those willing to strive towards it. And they have earned the sense of pride that will fill their hearts as they walk past the Torquay playground in the years to come, knowing that they are the ones who made it happen.
And after all that they’ve learned and all the hard work they’ve put in, summer vacation might just feel a little sweeter for students at Torquay this year.