Through consultation with students, Burton Elementary in Nakusp has constructed a brand new playground for the children of the school and the community.
Art Olsen, manager of operations at School District 10 in Nakusp, consulted with the children at the school who would be using the playground to design a structure that they would enjoy.
According to Peter Dubinsky, superintendent of School District 10, allowing the students to design the amenities and layout themselves gave them a sense of ownership and pride over the playground.
“I think that goes a long way in terms of how it’s treated and how it’s seen,” said Dubinsky.
The new equipment came at a perfect time for Burton Elementary, as the school has seen an exponential increase in the number of enrolled students over the past two years.
According to Dubinsky, the number of students has doubled since 2019, with a total enrollment of 39 for the 2021/22 year in the K-7 school.
The recent influx of students is not only in the younger grades: the addition of students is evenly distributed in both the K-3 and Grades 4-7 classes.
Dubinsky says that the facilities at Burton Elementary are commonly used for community gatherings and that keeping the grounds up to date is not only important to those at the school, but also the community.
Olsen presented kids options based on given parameters and budget, which led to the students conversing amongst themselves in order to come up with a design that suited them. He then put in a request through the Ministry of Education’s playground equipment program.
The project was fully funded by grants from the Ministry of Education.
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