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Feb 21, 2019

St. Luke’s Methodist Primary Gets a Playground

The Rotary Clubs of Edmonton, Canada and Belize gifted the Saint Luke’s Methodist Primary School with a playground.  The outdoor recreational space is fitted with swings, slides and ladders for the children to play. The playground was salvaged from a community in Canada and installed on the school grounds. It was officially inaugurated on Wednesday.  Reporter Andrea Polanco tells us more about the event.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Rotary Club of Edmonton gifted a playground to St Luke Methodist Primary School in Belize City.  The Ministry of Education lauded the donation because it will help students to have unstructured play time. The Ministry recognizes that play is an essential part of a child’s growth and development.  Studies have shown that it plays a critical part of their cognitive, language and physical skills development. Their play experience also helps to shape their imagination, concentration, self-confidence and social skills.

 

Carol Babb

Dr. Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer

“Play, particularly, unstructured play like spontaneous games, as opposed to organized P.E. activities is powerful in human development. They have found that play prepares us for real life situations; allowing us to practice making decisions under a pressure; lead a group; think abstractly. Group play teaches us how to socialize and cooperate. Play also gives us a chance to better know ourselves through self evaluation and self reflection through critical development tools. This playground will also be helpful because you know we live in technological era where children just want to sit in front of a tablet or sit in front of a television. This playground will give them the opportunity to come outside to run, to play, and to jump. Playgrounds have played a very important role because as you know many of our children are becoming obese at a very tender age because they are not as physically active as they used to be.  So, this playground will serve a very important purpose.”

 

This playground is from a school in Canada. And when they got a new one –the Emmanuel Foundation salvaged it and sent it for students to use in Belize.  Through the Rotary Club of Edmonton, it was assembled and installed in four days and gifted to St Luke’s Primary. This marks the seventh playground the club has installed in Belize City.

 

Markus Muhs

Markus Muhs, Rotary Club of Edmonton

“Many years ago this playground was built at Leduc Alberta, which is a small town just outside of Edmonton. It stood there for many years and brought a lot of joy to a lot of children there. Those children took real good care of this playground and I hope all of you do as well. As a result, we are able to build it here. An organization that is very critical to this programme is the Emmanuel Foundation. They go out to look at old playgrounds in Alberta and see if it still safe and good quality. If it is, they safely disassemble it and load it into a container with a whole bunch of good things. They ship it down here, down to Cisco. Cisco then makes sure we have all the parts and sort them all. We then come down here, us Rotarians and Rotaract and put it together.”

 

A brand new structure like this one would cost about one hundred thousand U.S. dollars, but this school got this one for free with the help of the Rotary Club of Edmond and their partners. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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