Bravo to Raft River Elementary School’s parents’ advisory committee (PAC) for winning $120,000 in Aviva Insurance’s community fund contest.
As outlined in last week’s Times, the money will be used to develop a playground at the school targeted towards intermediate-aged students. The playground will be named in memory of Courtney and Skye Buck, two local teachers who grew up in Clearwater and passed away in a motor vehicle accident just over one year ago.
The win was the result of many months of hard work by members of the PAC and others.
Their organizing efforts reached a peak late last fall when Clearwater’s entry collected the most votes (26,000, according to one report) of any in the semi-final round of the nationwide contest.
We often hear talk about how difficult it is to attract doctors and other professionals to live in a small town such as Clearwater.
Among other factors, people who make their living based on their education are understandably reluctant to raise their children in a place where the educational facilities are anything less than first rate.
This recent success by the Raft River PAC show the best way to overcome that stereotype – not so much by the playground itself, but by the outstanding community effort that went into getting that playground.
Number one in Canada is not too shabby.
The Raft River playground is not the only effort underway in the Upper North Thompson to make the area more kid-friendly.
People in Avola and the Thompson Headwaters services committee plan to upgrade the playground there.
Here in Clearwater, the Rotary Club is working with others to develop a splashpark.
Wells Gray Country services committee and the Blackpool Hall committee plan to develop a community park near the hall.
The learn-to-skate program reported on in this week’s issue ensures that every student at Raft River Elementary has the opportunity to learn how to skate.
Other volunteer-run programs give the students opportunities to learn to downhill and cross-country ski.
Let’s face it, a small town cannot offer the kind of specialized, one-of-a-kind educational opportunities that the big city can.
If your child is going to be an international concert pianist, then he or she is probably going to have to live and study in New York or someplace equivalent.
What a small town can offer is a well-rounded education – learning that covers a wide variety of fields and that includes experiences and not just academics.
Demographics and other factors mean there are far fewer children in the North Thompson Valley than there were a generation ago.
Let’s join with the Raft River PAC and others to ensure those children have the best possible preparation for life that we can give them.