A North York elementary school is in the running to win $25,000 in a national contest focusing on getting kids moving.
Yorkview Public School is one of 10 finalists in GoodLife Kids Foundation’s Win 4 Kids contest, which is giving away a total of $100,000 to programs that are helping Canadian youth get active.
All finalists will receive grants, but online votes will determine the amount they get. One grand prize of $25,000 will go to the finalist with the highest number of votes, along with three prizes of $12,000, three prizes of $8,000 and three prizes of $5,000. Results will be announced Saturday, March 5.
“The school became involved after a parent in our school brought it to my attention that we have an opportunity to apply for the Win 4 Kids grant,” said Yorkview principal Robert Radovski. “With the grant we will be able to purchase equipment to support a new initiative, the Yorkview Outdoor Play Enrichment Program. Equipment will be purchased for games of lacrosse, cricket, softball, soccer, flag football, ultimate frisbee, golf, tennis and track and field, just to name a few. Students will be able to play games that are new to them, that promote physical activity, sportsmanship, and healthy competition. We will also offer equipment to be signed out on weekends by families that wish to enjoy playing together. Our ultimate goal is to get Yorkview students physically active, and promote a healthy lifestyle with family.”
Lisa Burrows, executive director of GoodLife Kids Foundation, said the Bathurst Street and Finch Avenue area school stood out because of its temporary lack of an outdoor play structure.
“We select all Win 4 Kids finalists based on their program and being able to provide an ongoing physical activity opportunity for kids in their community,” she said. “Yorkview Public School was in need of something and Yorkview Outdoor Play Enrichment Program is filling that void – it will be put in place to provide a new and different opportunity for all students to be active throughout the day. It’s also led by Grade 5 students, something we loved.”
The junior kindergarten to Grade 5 school saw its play structure closed off last spring due to disrepair. The structure had deteriorated to the point it was no longer safe for the 490 students to play on, Radovski previously told The Mirror.
After putting in a replacement request to the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), an amount of $75,000 was committed for a new play structure, with the cost also covering resurfacing the play area, installing drainage and the planting of new trees.
The school then decided to hold a fundraiser, with the goal of raising $25,000 to add to the amount approved by the TDSB. The Yorkview Play Structure Committee came up with a structure wish list, which includes twisty slides, a rock climbing wall and monkey bars. The fundraiser, which began in the fall and wrapped up Dec. 11, raised $11,000.
The new play structure should be up and running by spring, Radovski said.
Online voting for the Win 4 Kids contest is open until 11:59 p.m. Friday, March 4 and is limited to one vote per person.
To vote, visit www.win4kids.com