Just $5 dollars helps fund our forest

Remember those childhood days when you just couldn’t wait to get outside? You thought you were playing but what you were really doing was learning. With nature as your classroom, you were learning teamwork, sharing, exploring, questioning (How do flowers really grow?) and how big the world can be when you add your imagination to it. Learning through nature is at the core of the Kamloops Child Development Centre – and our amazingly big yard is a key component: our own natural classroom for our children to play and learn.

This classroom needs to continue to grow and it’s the focus of our major fundraising project now. Our plans include replacing the decade-old equipment and, in its place, building a natural wonderland that researchers can confirm brings so many benefits to our ever-growing number of children who come to our centre, not just for care but, as our name says so dryly, to develop. We prefer to think of it as learning while having fun. Studies have shown children who learn in a natural forest playground can see improved cognitive function, increased creativity, improved interaction with adults, a reduction in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and reduced rates of aggression.

Today, Kamloops Child Development Centre launched an exciting online campaign to help raise funds to boost this fundraising effort. For as little as $5, you can help to create a natural wonderland that will be accessible and that, except during extreme weather, will see children and teachers outside discovering learning can be fun. For those who can spare more, in keeping with their focus on nature, a $20 donation will net you a package of seeds to add to your own natural environment. For donations of $100 or more, they’ll add an original art card created by one of our children along with the package of seeds.

Yes, they’d love to give you more for your support, but they think you’d agree that the money is best spent creating this playground classroom for the children, many of whom have special needs or come from low-income families. Almost 20 per cent of their children are under Ministry of Children & Families supervision. For many of the children, this centre provides them with the most opportunity to do what we all loved to do as kids – get outside and play. Yes, and learn while we’re doing it!

To make your donation, simply log on to youcaring.com/kcdc and press the “donate button”.  Or, if you’d like to visit our centre and drop off your donation in person, just stop by Kamloops Child Development at 157 Holway Street, Kamloops, BC. All donations will be recognized on the youcaring.com page. The centre will be issuing tax donation receipts for all donations over $20.