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Ecole Mount Prevost doing well in early on-line voting
Cowichan School District 79 restructuring, it seems, has created some creativity among parents.
A prime example is at Ecole Mount Prevost Elementary where there's a lack of playground equipment that suits the transition from a middle school to elementary.
The Ecole Mount Prevost Parent Advisory Committee found out about a unique way to potentially receive funds through an Aviva community fund grant for more playground space and put in an application. The process is tied to on-line voting and Prevost is doing very well so far, maintaining fifth position out of 661 Canada-wide applications and third in its category, according to Mona Kaiser, chair of the outdoor classroom committee.
The first qualifying round is under way this week. Those among the top 30 ideas that receive the most votes automatically go into the semifinals in December. There are other qualifying rounds from Oct. 21 to Nov. 4 and Nov. 11 to Nov. 25 for those that don't get into the top 30 the first time.
"We're feeling pretty confident about at least making it to the semifinals,'' said Kaiser.
Prevost now has 430 students in kindergarten through Grade 7 and not enough playground equipment to meet the need.
"It's overwhelmed their six swings and not a teeter-totter or monkey bars in sight,'' said Kaiser.
Prevost's application is in the large category for $100,000 to $150,000. The project takes into account not just the school, but the greater community.
"We started thinking about the inverted demographics we're finding in the Cowichan Valley,'' said Kaiser. "There's more seniors and less children.''
With that in mind, the school has a large field full of potential that could benefit many people.
"School's only in session six hours a day, 190 days out of the year,'' said Kaiser.
"It would seem to make sense to use these resources better and bring the community in.''
The plan is to take that empty field space and turn it into an area for play equipment for students, an exercise area for seniors, an outdoor classroom for teachers, a community garden for neighbours, a sandbox for toddlers and a picnic space for everyone.
The PAC has invited neighbours and community groups to help build on the idea, municipal government for support and the school board for assistance.
Check out their video plea here.
And, of course, the public can help by registering a vote. Here's the link.