Painting for play


THORBURN – Sue Harrington looks on in despair as she drops her child off at Thorburn Elementary School every day.

She sees the children just standing around, not wanting to play on the weathered play sets.

So she and a couple of parents began a group, Active Kids Development Project, to improve the play space at Thorburn Elementary School by raising enough funds to replace the worn-out items.

“We are trying to raise money to reinvigorate the school’s playground and provide an engaging space for the children.  Currently our playground equipment is rusting and not very inviting or stimulating. Much of it has been in operation for many decades and with pieces taken from other former schools in the area, it is a hodgepodge of aging metal,” she explains.

The total amount the group wants to raise is unknown. Harrington says they have a  playground equipment company going to the school to assess and the hope is to purchase one piece at a time as they have the funds for it.

“We want more natural pieces and some brightly coloured ones to entice them to play.”

Some of the improvements they would like to see include buddy benches to promote inclusion, the addition of cheerful asphalt art and games, refurbishing the baseball and soccer amenities and possibly adding a fenced-in volleyball and tennis court and a place for pickup hockey.

The group will be seeking out grants but in the meantime, they are preparing for the first of many fundraisers.

Paint Nite will take place on October 15 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the school. A professional artist from Halifax will instruct participants on how to create a certain painting. The cost of the event is $45 with $15 from every ticket sold going to the Active Kids Development Project and all painting supplies are provided.

“We thought this would be a good fundraiser because people can come out, have a good time and walk away with a painting. The best part is no experience is required. A lot of people say they can’t paint so they don’t want to go, but you don’t have to be a good painter, just bring an open mind and you will surprise yourself.”

Because the event is being held during the day, youth can also participate.

Tickets can be purchased online at and a minimum of 35 tickets must be sold the week of the event in order for it to take place.

Harrington says from her perspective, this project is important because her daughter will complain about the equipment and she is a foster mother as well and when she wants to take the children to the park, she has to drive to New Glasgow.

“It’s good for the school and for the community.”

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