Peterborough schoolboys create art and music to raise funds for playground


Kaawaate East City Public Schools (KECPS) in Peterborough is hoping to raise $200,000 to build an accessible playground at its elementary school.  On May 1, 2024, the school will host an art and music night for students, teachers, and parents to showcase student talents, sell student art through a silent auction, and accept donations to the playground fund.  (Photo courtesy of KECPS)
Kaawaate East City Public Schools (KECPS) in Peterborough is hoping to raise $200,000 to build an accessible playground at its elementary school. On May 1, 2024, the school will host an art and music night for students, teachers, and parents to showcase student talents, sell student art through a silent auction, and accept donations to the playground fund. (Photo courtesy of KECPS)

Kaawaate East City Public Schools (KECPS) in Peterborough is bringing the school community together for an evening of arts and music.

Hopefully the event on Wednesday (May 1) will have a profound impact and resonate into the future. Public schools in the East City community will host an arts night to raise funds for KECPS to build a new, fully accessible playground.

While this special event is only open to school students, teachers and parents, all community members can support KECPS in its efforts to create a playground that Peterborough residents can enjoy for years to come.

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“The idea for the arts night came to students and staff when they were thinking about ways to engage students in supporting the playground fund,” said KECPS Vice Principal Melissa Casselman, who spearheaded the event. “When it came to our Intermediate Design Club’s attention that they wanted to showcase their artwork, we knew we had many other students who would also like the opportunity to emphasize the importance of the arts—visual arts and music.”

“We invite (students in grades 1 to 6) to create artwork that also supports the Ontario Art Curriculum, so creating art in the classroom seemed like the perfect next step and we can do it as a gallery walk,” Casselman explained. show. “The idea snowballed from there and staff then provided support for musically gifted students to provide entertainment at this special event. It was truly a collaborative idea. Our students were very excited to showcase their work.

Parents and caregivers of KECPS students are invited to gather on Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. to tour the school-wide art gallery and hear performances from members of the elementary choir, intermediate band and ukulele club. Student artwork will be sold through a silent auction, and KECPS is asking all visitors to make a voluntary donation, with all funds going to the playground fund.

East City Public Schools (KECPS), May 1, 2024.  (Photo courtesy of KECPS)
East City Public Schools (KECPS), May 1, 2024. (Photo courtesy of KECPS)

When her daughter started junior kindergarten at the recently built school, parent Tara Joyce was surprised to find out the provincial government had not provided funding for school playgrounds. She joined other parents in launching a $200,000 fundraiser for the Hunter Street East school playground.

“We don’t have specific financial goals for the Arts Night itself, but we hope to raise $200,000 by September 2025 to fund the playground that is being built,” Joyce told kawarthaNOW. “We’ve raised about $26,000 so far.”

Through the arts and music night, Joyce said, “we hope to build engagement within the school community to raise the funds needed to build the playground.”

“For students, we want them to feel empowered to contribute and advocate for their needs, and to effectively raise funds to achieve goals they care deeply about. For parents, we hope the evening will be informative, Help them understand why we currently don’t have a playground, what needs to be done to build one, and how they can get involved themselves to support this initiative.

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Joyce noted that the broader Eastside community can support the fundraising efforts through individual donations and/or in partnership with family, friends, co-workers, service groups and the local business community.

“Every little bit helps. The more people we have to support our fundraising efforts and share our message and our needs within the community, the stronger and more effective it will be. Our children and our community will Be able to play on their playground faster.

KECPS is designed to accommodate 675 students when it opens in 2021. The projected student enrollment in September 2024 is 847 students.

“Providing a playground for students seems to be vital to the healthy functioning of any elementary school,” Joyce told kawarthaNOW earlier. “With our student body and new building already overcrowded in its third year of use, there is an urgent need to create more outdoor interactive spaces for our students that will have a long-term positive impact on their learning and growth.”





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