Local school yards receive makeover

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Allyson Beauregard


Allyson Beauregard

MUNICPALITY OF PONTIAC & L’ISLE-AUX-ALLUMETTES – Dr. Wilbert Keon School in L’Isle-aux-Allumettes and Notre-Dame-de-la-Joie school in Luskville recently received funding to improve their school yard facilities and equipment. The funding was announced August 19 by Stéphanie Vallée, Minister of Justice, Attorney General of Quebec, and Minister responsible for the Outaouais region, on behalf of Yves Bolduc, Minister of Education, Leisure and Recreation.
DWKS received $23,241 to improve their soccer field and install playground equipment while NDJ received $13,945 to install a synthetic soccer field. Six other schools in the Gatineau region were also given funds, for a total of $153,344. “Recipients are awarded based on priority and need. If you look at the school yard in Chapeau, it definitely needed improvements,” said Pontiac MNA, Andre Fortin, who was also involved in announcing the funding. 
"Moving, running, laughing and playing outside – this must be part of the daily lives of our children. That   is why playtime is so important.        The government assistance will               significantly improve and sustain these school yards," said Vallée.
This financial assistance allows school boards to improve their facilities in partnership with the community; government support accounts for a third of the net cost of each project, up to $ 25,000. The goal is to create an environment that is stimulating, safe and conducive to physical activity. “It is a big advantage for the schools and will improve the experience of students and for others that visit and play there. Participation in extracurricular activities may be improved as well,” added Fortin.
This year, 153 projects are slated throughout Quebec, representing a government investment of nearly    $3 million. “Children spend a lot of time in school so we need to make schools safe and welcoming places for them. Allowing students to play and be active gives an added benefit for their education,” concluded Bolduc.