Pledge Day donations help bring expensive equipment to Providence school

Expensive equipment at Providence school made possible by Pledge Day donations
WATCH: Pledge Day is just around the corner. For 13 hours, listeners can phone in or go online to make a donation to help a child in need. Here’s Christa Dao with a look at how the selfless donations are helping one Calgary school.

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.

WATCH: Calgary Children’s Fund Pledge Day 2015 at CHQR 770 

The playgrounds at the school are not only fun to play with but provide research-based approaches to developing kids’ growth and skills.

“The more we’re able to engage them and give them fun and interesting things to play at… [It] really helps with their standing and walking and standing skills,” physiotherapist Sarah Wilkie said.
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“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.

“Those pieces of equipment that would be used specifically for only three children but we need it but [those] thousands of dollars just isn’t in the budget,” Providence vice-president Margaret Jokuty said.

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.

READ MORE: Pledge Day kicks off in Calgary, supporting grassroots children’s charities 

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.

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“Every child that I’ve seen makes tremendous progress,” Wilkie said. “They continually surprise you. Kids are amazing.”