COURTENAY, B.C. – Students at Courtenay Elementary will be receiving a new universally-accessible playground, due to $105,000 in funding from the provincial government.

“Courtenay Elementary desperately needs this playground, so I’m delighted we’re delivering this new funding,” said Courtenay-Comox MLA, Ronna-Rae Leonard.

“We finally have a government that understands that play is an important part of a child’s education and development, and I’m proud to be part of it.”

The funding is a part of an ongoing Playground Equipment Program that’s set to provide $5 million each year to school districts to purchase new or replacement playgrounds.

A release from the NDP stated that generally, Parent Advisory Councils are the ones who have to shell out funds for new playground equipment. The government said schools without that capability are left without playgrounds.

“The new fund will ensure that kids don’t have to suffer for years with inadequate or unsafe playground equipment, and that parents can focus their energy on their children’s success,” read the release.

This year alone, 26 schools are receiving $90,000 for a standard playground, while 25 schools, including Courtenay Elementary, are receiving $105,000 for an accessible playground.