Kelowna’s Starbright Kids’s Improvement Middle receives new playground – Okanagan

The finishing touches are being applied to the new therapeutic playground in the Starbright Children’s Development Center.

The community-based program assists the families of children who need additional support, such as early intervention services, and helps families through education and information to meet the needs of their children.

“It’s really hard to put into words how much this really means,” said Rhonda Nelson, executive director of Starbright Children’s Development Center.

“This provides a beautiful environment with very specialized equipment that will help these children develop motor skills, use language skills and learn these very important play skills.”

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Now there are climbing rocks to develop core strength and balance, a swing to support parents and a child, a bubble rider for exercise, and sensory panels for the kids to play on.

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“[The sensory panels] stimulate visually, acoustically and kinesthetically so that the children are involved in this sensory research, ”said Nelson.

Nelson and her team have been dreaming of the playground for four years and it took many community partners and two dedicated fundraisers, Jason Picklyk and Mohini Singh, to make it happen.

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During a visit, Picklyk and Singh noticed that part of the property near the center was not in use.

“We noticed this area with a Sea-Can on it and I asked Rhonda why it was fenced,” said Picklyk, Starbright volunteer.

“She said, ‘This part doesn’t belong to us,’ it’s half a piece of land that the city owns. So I asked around and asked [Singh] what we could do to bring this piece back to Starbright and get a playground on it. “

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Picklyk approached town and was able to land a lease on the land and the Sea-Can was removed, then the duo started talking on the phone.

“Our fundraiser was very simple, we reached out to people who we believed would support our vision of this play area and no one said no to us,” said Singh, Starbright Volunteer.

“I’m so grateful to the community for the generosity they showed, we raised $ 80,000 for this little playground. We lacked a little money and thanks a lot to Kelowna Toyota.

While the playground is almost ready, they plan to raise funds again to expand it with new equipment in the future.

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