Acre­man’s big day

Green’s Har­bour school re­ceives ma­jor fund­ing for new play­ground

The Compass - - OPINION - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

Late Septem­ber is still five months away, but it is a date that can­not come fast enough for the stu­dents and teach­ers of Acre­man El­e­men­tary in Green’s Har­bour.

That is the day ear­marked for the com­ple­tion of a long-awaited new play­ground for the school and the com­mu­ni­ties it serves.

Dur­ing an assem­bly April 20 guised as a cel­e­bra­tion of the school’s tal­ent from past and present, the play­ground com­mit­tee sur­prised the stu­dents by an­nounc­ing the award­ing of a Let Them Be Kids help­ing hand award that will al­low the school to con­struct new play­ground in the com­ing months.

In­side the gym­na­sium, stu­dents from the K-6 school were treated to the mu­si­cal styling of for­mer stu­dents of Acre­man and par­ents and grand­par­ents of chil­dren cur­rently at­tend­ing.

Tak­ing their cue from the tele­vi­sion show Canada’s Got Tal­ent, the gym­na­sium lights dimmed and mem­bers of the lo­cal play­ground com­mit­tee held up plac­ards an­nounc­ing “We’ve Won A Play­ground Award.”

There was an in­stant erup­tion of screams and ex­cite­ment, fol­lowed by the drop­ping of bal­loons.

A large screen then de­scended from the stage, and a recorded mes­sage from Let Them Be Kids founder Ian Hill con­grat­u­lated the school and the four com­mu­ni­ties that will pros­per from the new play­ground — Green’s Har­bour, Ho­peall, White­way and Cavendish. It is slated to be com­pleted dur­ing a one-day build on Sept. 29.

The award was one of 30 given out to com­mu­ni­ties across Canada, and “al­lows the dream of a school and com­mu­nity play­ground to come true,” stated Acre­man prin­ci­pal Pa­tri­cia Collins-yet­man.

The com­mit­tee con­sists of com­mu­nity mem­bers, busi­ness own­ers and teach­ers who “all share a com­mon goal” of get­ting a new play­ground con­structed.

“It’s go­ing to be an all-in­clu­sive play­ground,” said Collins-yet­man.

She said the com­mit­tee hopes the fa­cil­ity will help foster a new sense of com­mu­nity and to­geth­er­ness amongst its res­i­dents.

Half­way there

The beauty of the help­ing hand award is how it is struc­tured.

Let Them Be Kids pro­vides a 50/50 match­ing grant, which goes to­wards the pur­chase of new equip­ment as well as sup­port, train­ing and the re­sources needed to make the project a suc­cess.

“Ev­ery 50 cents we raise will re­sult in $1 of buy­ing power. We’re half­way there al­ready,” said CollinsYet­man.

The prin­ci­pal es­ti­mated the job to cost in the $30,000-50,000 range by the time the final bolt has been tight­ened.

Acre­man El­e­men­tary stu­dents cel­e­brate the an­nounce­ment that their school will be re­ceiv­ing a new play­ground dur­ing a cer­e­mony April 20.

For­mer Acre­men El­e­men­tary stu­dent Kathy Stock per­forms Nickel Creek’s “When You Come Back Down” at the school’s “Cel­e­bra­tion of Tal­ent” April 20.

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