Posted by Timothy FitzGerald on May 07, 2019
(left to right Principal - Tracy Rodrigues, club President - Dave King, club Community Service Director - Rick Horncharsky)
Tracy was raised in Norfolk County and became principal of Langton Public School in 2015. Tracy observes that by standards across the Grand Erie District School Board, the Langton school is small with 180 students from 150 families. When Tracy arrived, as Principal, the aged playground equipment consisted of rusted swings, slides and teeter-totters. These were since condemned as unsafe and “roped off” with orange snow fencing.
The playground today consists of sand pits and game areas with painted lines on pavement. The children are very creative. But play can be so much more! In education, the benefits of play equipment are many – learn safety, burn energy, mental wellness for stress relief and learning. After school the whole community benefits through use of the equipment. But it seems that new playground equipment is fund raised by local communities versus school board budgets. Playgrounds are expensive. It starts with “engineered mulch” to cover the ground at a cost of $5,000. All in the costs are $50,000 - well beyond the ability of 150 families in this otherwise low income area to support. But support it they did! So 4-6 parents took up the fundraising challenge. Numerous fund raisers were held and outreach taken into greater communities.
Hard work is recognized. The “engineered mulch” is being donated by the manufacturer, 100 Women Who Care donated one third of the costs, Langton service clubs, Lucas Wilson, Taco Dinners all pitched in.
Upon hearing this, the Rotary Club of Simcoe presented Tracy with our cheque for $2,500 to push them toward the top and more Happy Faces.
Here are rendering of the equipment to be installed within 2019.
5-8 yrs old
8-12 yrs old