Above, Mia Hopkins, 6, displays her design for play spaces at EJ Dunn. Left, Corina Ambrose does a video interview with her sister Robyn, a Grade 6 student at EJ Dunn elementary, during Play Day on Saturday. MIKE YOUDS PHOTOS

Alberni Valley school consults the experts

EJ Dunn Elementary School takes a playful approach to play spaces

By Mike Youds

Special to the News

If at first you don’t succeed, go back to the drawing board and consult the experts.

That was the idea behind Play Day at EJ Dunn Elementary School on Saturday, Jan. 20, when staff and volunteers hosted a planning exercise fuelled by fun and enthusiasm.

“We’re drawing on interest and support in designing a play space,” explained Felicia Randall, a Grade 1- 2 teacher. “It’s really exciting and the kids here are excited as well.”

Originally a junior high school and a middle school before it became an elementary and preschool three years ago, EJ Dunn lacks the play spaces that usually support early learning and active children.

Last year, the school’s PAC made a pitch for charitable funding by entering the BCAA Play Here, an online voting contest that provides up to $100,000 for community play spaces. They placed among the Top 10 finalists but were not among the three winners.

This year, they’re sharpening their pencils with help from the experts — children in the school’s community. And they’re bound and determined to make the play spaces happen for the entire community.

“Our PAC has been working really hard at it,” said Stacey Manson, school principal. “They really wanted us to make a commitment to do something this year.”

So far, about $11,000 has been raised and the PAC intends to enter the BCAA contest again, this time with more concrete plans. In the meantime, they plan to approach community groups for additional support.

A series of play stations set up Saturday succeeded in sparking creativity among the kids ranging from preschoolers to intermediate students, who had an opportunity to contribute to school improvement for their younger peers.

“Truly our focus is on collecting as many really, really good ideas as we can,” Manson said.


Corina Ambrose does a video interview with her sister Robyn, a Grade 6 student at EJ Dunn elementary, during Play Day on Saturday. MIKE YOUDS PHOTO

Just Posted

Alberni Valley Bulldogs ready for Team Kazakhstan visit

Game will be ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity for some Bulldogs’ players

Baby, it’s nasty outside: wind and rain will continue across Vancouver Island

Police warn drivers and pedestrians to use precaution during expected rain and winds

Donation helps North Island College trades students

NIC receives $38,000 equipment donation from Seymour Pacific Developments Ltd

See the Heart of Winter at Port Alberni gallery

Group exhibit runs at DRAW Gallery until February

Future of McLean Mill in question after log pond incident

$200,000 allocated to dam repairs, water quality testing at national historic site

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

Increase in downed power lines in B.C., how to stay safe

BC Hydro study finds a third of British Columbians may be putting themselves at risk

Judge sets bail at $2.5 million in 1987 slaying of B.C. couple

William Talbott II, 55, is charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder

EU leaders vow to press on with ‘no-deal’ Brexit plans

European Union leaders have offered Theresa May sympathy but no promises, as the British prime minister seeks a lifeline.

Powerful winds set to hit Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island

The agency says winds in coastal areas will strengthen up to 70 kilometres an hour before the front moves inland and gusts reach 90 kilometres an hour.

Mandatory victim surcharge cruel and unusual punishment, top court rules

Stephen Harper’s Conservative government made the charges mandatory in 2013.

Tourism minister postpones trip to China amid tensions between two countries

Tourism Minister Melanie Joly’s office says Canada and China have mutually agreed to postpone a closing ceremony next week.

Police across Canada probe bomb threats as U.S. authorities dismiss ‘hoax’

A police spokesman said the emails were the same as those received elsewhere in North America

France shooter killed Thursday during police operation

7 more being held by police in shooting investigation

Most Read