‘Guardian an­gel’ helps kinder­garten kids

The Barrie Examiner - - FRONT PAGE - IAN MCINROY

ESSA TWP. – A “guardian an­gel” has come through in a big way for young­sters at Our Lady of Grace Catholic School in An­gus.

Over the sum­mer, van­dals broke into a shed con­tain­ing some play­ground equip­ment at the Roth Street school, leav­ing kinder­garten stu­dents in a lurch when they started classes last week. Lo­cal real es­tate bro­ker Linda Knight wasn’t con­tent to let that hap­pen.

She took it upon her­self to pur­chase five tri­cy­cles and four scoot­ers for the ‘kindies’, but didn’t stop there.

Knight also pur­chased a new 10-foot by 10-foot shed, com­plete with a van­dal-proof steel door, and had it con­structed this week by en­thu­si­as­tic mem­bers of her team.

Our Lady of Grace prin­ci­pal Kevin Kuiack was over­whelmed with Knight’s, and the team’s, gen­eros­ity.

“I’m go­ing to use the word ‘faith’. Linda re­ally has be­come our guardian an­gel,” he said. “She doesn’t have kids who go to our school, but from a com­mu­nity per­spec­tive, she has seen our de­fi­ciency and stepped in to take care of us.

“That’s what we are try­ing to sup­port here: a sense of com­mu­nity. If ev­ery­body thought like that, it would be a bet­ter world.”

Kuiack said Knight’s gen­er­ous do­na­tion couldn’t come at a bet­ter time.

“Our stu­dent pop­u­la­tion has ex­ploded, es­pe­cially in our kinder­garten yard. An­gus just keeps on grow­ing,” he said. “We have 150 kinder­garten kids alone and we’ve now reached over 600 stu­dents at the school.

“The shed in the ‘kindie’ yard is per­fect and it’s go­ing to give those kids lots of things to do and re­ally en­joy the space,” Kuiack added. “Hon­estly, it brought tears to my eyes. It’s amaz­ing that an out­side agency came in and stepped up and did such a won­der­ful thing.”

Knight said she’s re­ceived a lot of feed­back from her do­na­tion, but didn’t do it for the at­ten­tion.

“My heart was telling me I had to help them. I thought of the kids start­ing ju­nior kinder­garten and hav­ing only one bro­ken tri­cy­cle to share,” she said. “I have a lit­tle one in JK so I must have felt a bit of a pull there.

“My team have es­sen­tially dropped ev­ery­thing to make this hap­pen but things like this bring out the best in peo­ple.”

Linda re­ally has be­come our guardian an­gel. She doesn’t have kids who go to our school, but from a com­mu­nity per­spec­tive, she has seen our de­fi­ciency and stepped in to take care of us.” Kevin Kuiack

SUB­MIT­TED

A Good Sa­mar­i­tan has do­nated tri­cy­cles and scoot­ers to the kinder­garten stu­dents at Our Lady of Grace Catholic School in An­gus.

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