In its 63-year existence, Kensington Elementary School in north Edmonton has never had a playground.
It is currently the only elementary school in Edmonton that doesn’t have a playground for students and kids in the community. Principal Dao Haddad is looking to change that.
“The kids are playing, having fun anyways. But I want to kick it up a notch,” said Haddad.
“I want to have a playground on the school property just like any other school in our city.”
To make Haddad’s dream come to life, the school is calling on the community for support. The parent teacher association is in charge of fundraisers and making sure money is distributed out to the right places.
Kensington’s parent association president Monica Marchand says they hope to have collected enough funds to complete the project by 2024.
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“We have also teamed up with a charity, Variety Charity, to make sure that our playground is fully inclusive for children in wheelchairs, with autism and with special needs. We definitely want a fully inclusive playground.”
Fundraisers like bottle drives, hot lunches and donations pages will hopefully help the elementary school reach its final goal.
With many students at the school new to Canada, it’s a lot to ask parents for monetary donations, which is why the school is reaching out to the community.
“I came to Canada in 1980 and when I came here there was so many people and educators, teachers supporting me,” said Haddad.
“I see, every single day, we have newcomers at our school and we welcome them with open arms.
“I want them to experience that Canadian experience of playing on a playground like I did when I was little.”
A new playground would also bring together children from the community who maybe don’t attend the school.
“It doesn’t matter where you live — all our kids in Edmonton are our kids. And our kids are our future. So no matter where these kids are from, south to north, we all deserve to play on a playground.”
Donations can be made through the Kensington School Facebook page or Variety Charity.