HPS accessible playground project is $80,000 closer to goal thanks to Rotary and school board

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It was a small question that would have big impact: could the Huntsville Public School (HPS) playground be made accessible so that every student could use it? That question raised last year by some of the school’s then-grade 6 students led to a frenzy of fundraising activity, with school staff and parents jumping on board to help out.

They’ve come a long way. So far, the Huntsville Public School (HPS) accessible playground project has raised about $300,000, including matching funds contributed by the Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB), putting them within reach of their $377,000 goal.

It was a $40,000 donation made today by the Rotary Club of Huntsville and which will be matched by TLDSB that got them to the $300,000 mark.

“We are extremely pleased to be here,” said Rotarian Lea Barker at a cheque presentation to the school. “We looked at (the information) we had been given and said ‘this is a great community project that we need to get involved in’.”

Rotary Club of Huntsville President Kim O’Grady made the cheque donation to teacher Kerri-Lynne Knappett amid loud cheers from HPS students.

An emotional Knappett told the assembled students and staff, “What I love the most about today is that you guys can see that you as kids can come up with one seed of an idea and have it grow into the most beautiful flower I could have ever imagined. I am so proud and grateful for all of you.” Knappett also thanked the Rotary Club for their donation.

Teacher Kerri-Lynne Knappett (in yellow) with students and staff who have been working on the accessible playground project

Teacher Kerri-Lynne Knappett (in yellow) with students and staff who have been working on the accessible playground project

“With work in kind from the community, if we had to put this (playground) up tomorrow, we’d be in pretty good shape. (This donation) takes a huge load off financially,” said Knappett. “I wasn’t expecting something nearly so generous.”

HPS students joined Rotarians with the $40,000 cheque donated by the club

HPS students joined Rotarians with the $40,000 cheque donated by the club

A rendering of the proposed accessible playground at Huntsville Public School

A rendering of the proposed accessible playground at Huntsville Public School

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1 Comment

  1. One could only wish that more of our older populace would grasp the importance of inclusion, as these young folk have. Kudos for treating your students with disabilities with dignity and equity.

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