The process of re-designing the Brooklands School playground has been months in the making. The school principal, Rex Ferguson-Baird, worked tirelessly to secure grants, line up resources & assemble a dedicated team of volunteers to turn his concept into a reality. Rex secured a grant through Let Them Be Kids, an organization that is dedicated to building one hundred new play structures a year in communities across Canada. The $75,000 that Rex raised toward this project was matched by Let Them Be Kids, which meant that the school had the opportunity to spend $150,000 on this project.
Throughout the day, volunteers worked tirelessly to bring about a complete transformation of the school yard, including:
- two new play structures
- a butterfly garden
- removal of brush
- repair of existing baseball diamond
- beautification of gardens and planters
Not only did Let Them Be Kids support this project financially, they also promoted the redevelopment of the Brooklands school grounds on their website. Harnessing the power of technology, they featured live streaming video of the day's festivities on their website. We had dozens of viewers from around the globe watching the action on uStream as it was unfolding in real time. Not only could people participate at a distance, but we've also archived a great deal of content that was recorded throughout the day. We conducted interviews with students, teachers, parents, administration, former principals and city councilors. Highlights of the day can be accessed by scrolling down the LTBK uStream page.
In addition to snapping photos and assisting with the live video feed, I thought it would be interesting to create a time lapse video of a play structure being assembled throughout the day. I set up a camera on the roof of the school and captured a photo every 30 seconds. As you can see in the video clip below, there was a lot happening throughout the day - and it was only through the dedication and commitment of our tireless volunteers that we were able to pull it of.
The transformation that took place at Brooklands School on Monday is significant for a lot of reasons.
- It's a positive change that benefits everyone and will continue to do so for years to come
- It started with a vision and it could only be pulled off through hard work and dedication
- It's an attempt to rethink how we make the most use out of our spaces within schools
- Everybody got on board to turn this dream into a reality...
We pulled together over 200 people to transform a school's playground in one day. That's radical.
How many people will we have to pull together to transform our schools so that they more suitably meet the needs of today's students? And how long is this process going to take?
That's an even bigger challenge...