BEGA Valley Public School (BVPS) is another step closer to building much needed play equipment.
BVPS Parents and Community Association member Rod McDonald said that with a distinct lack of children’s play equipment in Bega, the school is looking to make the equipment accessible to the entire community thanks to the first round of the Southern Phone Grants Scheme.
“Realistically it will be positioned so that kids using the walking track can also access it, so effectively it’s for the community,” he said.
Mr McDonald said the $5138 donated will be added to the funds raised during the school’s recent fun run.
“We’re always looking for local businesses to pair with and this is the beginning of a five to 10 year plan,” he said.
“Play equipment is very expensive so this money goes a long way and it puts us six to 12 months ahead of where we would be otherwise.”
“What we hear from teachers is that kids need something where they take a little bit of risk in a safe way,” he said.
School principal Carolyn Nugent said the grant is important for the community at large.
“We realise our facilities are used by lots of community groups and we see the play equipment as a community resource that will add value to our community.”
Ms Nugent said the equipment follows the school’s philosophy of encouraging kids to live a healthy lifestyle.
“It’s about having a great balance, and about controlled risk management, climbing, fun and endurance,” she said.
“Sometimes school is the only place they get exercise and it’s also why we have a program with Fling Physical Theatre.”
Southern Phone introduced the scheme in 2014 as a way to further extend their community support by committing $1million to regional Australia.
The scheme sees them donate $25,000 to each of their local council shareholders, which they can then share between community groups within their local regions.
The community owned company also pays dividends to local councils on top of the grants scheme.
Also receiving grants this year are Tathra Public School Parents and Community Association, the Old Bega Hospital Reserve Trust, Jellat Jellat Rural Fire Brigade, tathra and Kalaru District Chamber of Commerce, Merimbula Big Game and Lakes Angling Club and Sapphire Coast Active Kids Playgroup.