Delhi school in need of kids’ skates

Delhi Public School is in need of skate donations to ensure all students can participate in their annual skating program. Pictured is vice-principal Cynthia Gozzard helping Grade 1 student Zander Fournier learn to skate. Handout

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Delhi Public School students are in need of skates.

Throughout the winter months the students participate in class trips – they walk to the Delhi Community Arena to skate with their classmates.

The program offers students the opportunity to try skating for the first time. Zander Fournier, a Grade 1 student with special needs and low vision, had his family come to the rink to witness his first time on the ice with his school.

Vice-principal Cynthia Gozzard helped the youngster around the ice and said he thoroughly enjoyed the experience and asked to continue skating after each lap around the ice.

The school tries to provide helmets and skates to those who do not own any, but are short in the larger sizes of hockey skates.

They are hoping people who have extra pairs of men’s skates, sizes four to 10, would be willing to part with them so the older students also have the opportunity to skate with their classmates. They are also in need of skate laces.

Principal Paula Rasokas said they have a lot of the smaller sizes in skates that people donate once their child has outgrown them.

The school has roughly 60 pairs of skates that get handed out to the students. Some borrow the skates for the season to be able to skate outside of school time.

Skates available for the students to borrow have currently not been sharpened for two seasons because of the cost of having 60 pairs done. The school is hoping someone would be willing to donate sharpening services.

The students need to have a helmet, gloves, a coat, and skates to participate.

“The staff at the school take pride in ensuring that all students have the opportunity to participate in skating,” Gozzard said in an email. “The school works hard to remove financial barriers and accessibility barriers to participate.”

The program is operated entirely on community donations of CSA-approved helmets and skates. The school is also accepting donations of Canadian Tire money to help purchase new helmets.

They have ordered 60 new helmets for students to use while skating.

Gozzard said it’s difficult to accept donated helmets because they have expiration dates, and so Canadian Tire money paid towards the purchases is best.

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