At Providence school in Calgary, the equipment is pricey but necessary. The school is a specialized educational institution for children with special needs, including autism, cerebral palsy and Down Syndrome.
Some students require extra audio vocal guidance, while other children need a more targeted approach on their motor skills.
So Providence incorporates education with entertainment.
The playgrounds at the school are not only fun to play with but provide research-based approaches to developing kids’ growth and skills.
“Technology is always changing. There are always new and better things that help the kids reach their goals,” she said.
Some of the playground panels cost upwards of $5,000. Other equipment, like a special climbing wall, also costs thousands of dollars. It’s a cost the school said is too pricey for it to purchase on its own.
Last year, Providence received around $6,000 from Pledge Day to help purchase that much-needed equipment.
“For Pledge Day to help us get those large pieces of equipment — like this year, to help fund expanding our playground — is phenomenal,” she said.
Hosted by News Talk 770 and Global News, Pledge Day is a 13-hour live radio broadcast, asking listeners to call in or go online and make donations that will benefit children in need.
The radio-thon focuses on small charities that are not able to hold massive fundraising events.
At Providence, school officials say their hope is to reduce as many barriers as possible so every child at their school can reach their full potential.
“Every child that I’ve seen makes tremendous progress,” Wilkie said. “They continually surprise you. Kids are amazing.”