Unwavering sense of pride
The kids themselves picked out the playground equipment through a dotmocracy. They placed dots on images of playground equipment they’d like to have and the majority vote determined the selection.
“Wheelchair accessibility was one of the things that was part of our project so that all kids could come and play, it’s not just a school playground, but a community playground.”
Surpassing their fundraising goal has allowed the school to approach the project holistically, going beyond just playground equipment.
“We are looking at the whole child and hoping to develop the whole child,” said Reid.
More than a playground
At 2:45 p.m., with all the work completed, Acreman held a dedication ceremony honouring their “heroes.”
The soccer field was dedicated to former teacher Craig Shute, who passed away suddenly in 2010.
“He was very much involved with physical activities as a gym teacher and everybody who had him as a teacher spoke highly of him. I know if he were here today he would be so proud of what is happening,” said Reid.
The outdoor classroom was dedicated to Cecilia Maulawin, former music teacher, who resides at Glenbrook Lodge, St. John’s. She was able to watch the day unfold via live Internet broadcast.
Dr. Fred Brett (deceased) lived and worked next door to Acreman for many years and the school thought it fit to dedicate the playground in honour of the doctor.
“He was first responder for so many years for all the people in this area, and a veterinarian too, I’m told, as well as a doctor, and a pharmacist.
“The Peace Garden is dedicated to all the veterans from the four communities,” explained Reid, “and we’re working really hard at getting a monument to go there in recognition of all their sacrifice and heroic endeavours.”
At one side of the school, volunteers created a labyrinth.
“People sometimes think it’s a maze; it’s not a maze,” Reid noted. “It’s a path that actually symbolizes our journey through life, the way you go in is the way you come out. We come across adversity, lots of circumstances, health, financial issues, whatever, there’s always a way out. It was very symbolic for the committee during the whole project.”
Throughout the project there was an unwavering sense of pride and ownership.
“People will not be able to drive by this area and not feel like they have a stake in it. So you won’t have to call the RCMP to come and check things out because people are going to circulate and make sure that things are taken care of.
“It has been amazing, totally amazing.” she added. “Being a teacher here, I can’t wait to get out here.”