Hornby Island Community School recently celebrated the unveiling of a new accessible swing set in front of a big crowd of happy students and parents. In a display of community spirit and collaboration, a ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the official opening of the island’s first accessible playground equipment, now available for use by all children in the community.
The project was spearheaded by the school PAC in October 2022, and a robust fundraising campaign amassed over $36,000, that helped bring the vision to fruition. The campaign was bolstered by a strong community effort, including significant contributions from Variety – the Children’s Charity of BC, the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD), First Credit Union, the Hornby Island Co-op, and numerous community individual donors. Special mention to the Odus & the Alumni Fundraising Dance – as students and alumni of the school raised over $4800 for this project.
Daniel Arbour, CVRD Director, Area A praised the PAC’s leadership for their unwavering dedication to the cause. “I believe each community should have a great playground, and it’s with immense gratitude that we acknowledge the leadership provided by the Hornby PAC, in seeing this project through,” said Arbour.
The swing set, distinguished as the only public swing set on Hornby Island, incorporates an accessible swing and suitable ground cover, enabling children of all abilities to play side-by-side. This aligns with the PAC’s vision of an inclusive play space.
“Comox Valley Schools is committed to nurturing inclusive environments where every child has the opportunity to thrive,” stated Ian Heselgrave, Director of Operations, SD 71. “This swing set stands as a testament to the unwavering spirit of collaboration that made this project a resounding success.”
The addition of the swing set not only enriches the school’s facilities but serves the wider community outside school hours, addressing the previous lack of municipal playground equipment on the island. Research underscores the importance of such inclusive play structures in fostering childhood development, a belief strongly endorsed by the Hornby Island Community School PAC.
With gratitude extended to all funders and community members involved, Hornby Island families can look forward to witnessing the positive impacts of the swing set on the island’s children for years to come.