It wasn’t long into her 40-year career in early-childhood education that Helen Blair, director of education at Kamloops Child Development Centre, saw the benefits children receive from outdoor play. She also saw an increase in the number of children who exhibited behaviours and a corresponding decline in the amount of time children were spending outside.
For the past three years the board, staff and management have been fundraising to realize their vision of a completely redesigned playground. An outdoor classroom that would offer natural play spaces designed for different ages. Designed to mimic the childhood experience of friends playing in a forest, the new outdoor classroom will provide their early childhood educators (ECE) another way to focus on learning and growth objectives, helping children acquire the knowledge and skills they need to reach their potential.
Too many children today do not have the opportunity their parents and grandparents had – playing outside and, at the same time, learning while they play in the rich environment of the outdoors. Children are by nature active learners and the outdoor forest classroom will help them acquire physical and social-emotional knowledge, as well as co-constructing cognitive knowledge, not by sitting and listening indoors, but by doing.
Friday, December 8th, Telus Thompson Okanagan Community Board has come through for Kamloops Child Development Centre with a donation of $14,695 to fund a special climbing mountain in their nature-based playground. Sitting in the center of the playground, Telus Mountain will stand seven feet tall and surrounded by boulders and logs and a meandering path to the top. The mountain has hairpin turns at every foot of height and is accessible on foot or by wheelchair.
This donation will enable the centre to start the initial phase of the playground build. KCDC is so excited to be able to plan on breaking ground this Spring. The thrill of reaching this peak in their fundraising efforts only pales in comparison to the generous support of Telus as well as so many others in our community.
For more information, please contact education director Helen Blair, or general manager Cindy McKinnon at 250-376-2233.