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Feb 24, 2016

St. John Vianney Kids Get New Playground

Primary school students at St. John’s Vianney Primary School were ecstatic this morning when they were allowed onto a new playground.  The swings, seesaw and slide are a donation from the Rotary Club of Edmonton, Canada.  Members of the organization volunteered their time to paint and set up the various components of the set and this morning, following a brief inauguration ceremony, the kids were free to play on the rides.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano has that report.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

An outdoor recreation area for students of St. John’s Vianney, equipped with swings, slides, seesaw and other play equipment was inaugurated this morning in Belize City.  The project was made possible with the assistance of the Rotary Clubs of Belize and Edmonton, Canada.


Rod Karius, Rotary Club of Edmonton

Rod Karius

“For many years, this playground stood in a community in Alberta and was utilized by children in Alberta.  They got lots of fun and activity from this playground but it got to a point where the cost of maintaining was more than the cost of building a new playground.  So a new playground was built, but rather than this playground be sent to the scrap yard, as we can see here it’s still a very good playground.  So the Rotarians in Alberta work with an organization called the Emmanuel Foundation and the Emmanuel Foundation salvaged this playground, refurbished the equipment, put it into a shipping container and then sent it to Belize.”


The new playground, says School Principal Felix Sutherland, will go a long way with the primary school students.


Felix Sutherland

Felix Sutherland, Principal, St. John Vianney

“The school is very appreciative of the gift.  The students are anxious to make use of this.  They will no doubt benefit from additional space to play and get some well deserved physical exercise.”


According to Tessa Usher, President of the Rotary Club of Belize, a proposal submitted along with eleven others to their counterparts abroad ended up being selected for the awarding of a grant.  Monies from that grant will be used for various programs.


Tessa Usher, President, Rotary Club of Belize

Tessa Usher

“Rotary Clubs in other parts of the world, they are always looking for good projects, they call it, to partner with other Rotary Clubs in other parts of the world.  And as a result of that we had to submit a written proposal and of eleven, I understood, proposals that were sent out internationally, we got chosen for the grant, it’s supposed to be approximately about eighty-five thousand U.S. It not only includes playgrounds but it also includes the computer literacy program, it also includes the reading program and other areas of interest that will assist with the mastery skills for these children.”


Needless to say, the kids were very enthusiastic about getting on their new set.  They couldn’t wait to be allowed on the swings and monkey bars.


Felix Sutherland

“They were very excited and they still are.  As a matter of fact they were asking, Sir, as soon as they move the caution tape, will we be able to get on it so that we could enjoy this?”  So I’m sure that they are very, very anxious to get on.  Some have their favorite spots.  Some are eyeing the monkey bars while others are eyeing the slides.”


Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

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