Students Ida Newnes, Sylvie Turner, Juliana Turner and Tyler Long prepare hot lunch at South Canoe Elementary. (Photo submitted)

Students Ida Newnes, Sylvie Turner, Juliana Turner and Tyler Long prepare hot lunch at South Canoe Elementary. (Photo submitted)

Outdoor Learning School wins $30,000 for kitchen renovation

Salmon Arm school top runner-up in BCAA's Play Here challenge

  • Jul. 3, 2019 12:00 a.m.

They may not have won top prize, but South Canoe’s Outdoor Learning School will still be able to cook up some needed kitchen renovations with $30,000 awarded by BCAA.

The funding comes from the BCAA Play Here challenge, where community projects vie for public votes to win funding for play spaces. The Outdoor Learning School submitted their application along with a video in April in hopes of receiving funding for upgrades to the school’s kitchen, so students could create their own hot lunch program.

Read more: Votes needed by South Canoe School for BCAA Play Here funding

Read more: Results on voting drive for South Canoe kitchen still to come

On June 2, after months of public voting, the school received word from BCAA they were the recipients of the top runners-up prize.

There were three main prizes were worth $100,000 each, as well as three runners-up prizes were worth $30,000, $20,000 and $10,000.

“It’s exciting,” said Serena Caner, who initially presented the idea to the school and filed the application. “For a PAC to raise $30,000 would take a long time, especially at a small school. We figured we would have to do like 3,000 bottle drives or so.”

Caner does not know if the $30,000 will be enough to pay for all the renovations necessary to build a full commercial kitchen in the school, so additional fundraising may be needed. The renovations have to be completed by December 2020, so the fundraising would have to happen quickly said Caner.

If the fundraising is not met, then a regular kitchen would be installed, but Caner says there would still be a need for a commercial dishwasher so teachers would not be washing dishes for the 150 students participating in the hot lunch program.

Read more: Bear and cubs seen near South Canoe School

Read more: South Canoe students take science-focused secondary school tour

“I would just like to thank the community and everyone who voted for us every day. It was a long haul… We had a few moments where we were quite close to getting up to being third place,” said Caner.

According to a press release from the BCAA, the association will work closely with the three winning finalists on customized designs, and plans to give each community their own unique play area.

“Congratulations to our BCAA Play Here winners. The passion that our finalists have for their communities shows that great play spaces aren’t just for kids, they impact entire communities,” said Shawn Pettipas, BCAA’s director of community engagement. “Our new runners-up cash prizes mean we can help all six of these very deserving communities get closer to turning their play space dreams into reality.”

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Salmon Arm Observer