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TELUS supports natural play for child care centre with $20,000 gift
Okanagan College Media Release

A major investment from the community will enhance the great outdoors for South Okanagan children at Okanagan College’s new child care centre.  

The TELUS Thompson Okanagan Community Board has announced a donation of $20,000 to the Okanagan College Foundation’s Bright from the Start fundraising campaign. The gift will support an innovative outdoor learning environment at the centre on the Penticton campus.TELUS donation Aug 2017

The College’s project fulfilled two of the funding areas the Community Board strives to support – education and environment.

“TELUS has a longstanding history of supporting Okanagan College and the tremendous work they are doing throughout the community, whether it be through various campaigns, sponsorships or bursaries,” says Steve Jenkins, General Manager, Okanagan and Vice Chair, TELUS Thompson Okanagan Community Board.

“The TELUS Thompson Okanagan Community Board is proud to contribute $20,000 to this new facility knowing it will provide a foundation for future learners and will help foster a passion for the environment and nature for generations to come.”

Operated through a partnership between Okanagan College and the Penticton and District Community Resources Society (PDCRS), the new centre will provide 64 new child care spaces for infant and toddler care, ages 3-5 daycare, preschool, and after-school care for families in the South Okanagan, including College students and employees.

“TELUS has been a long-time champion of our students, programs and campuses,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “We deeply appreciate the generous investment from their Community Board that will help provide a high-quality educational environment for our next generation of learners.”

The outdoor space is designed to follow current research on outdoor learning. Four unique play areas will provide children the opportunity to explore, play and learn through activities that help spark a sense of wonder about the natural environment. 

“It’s important to provide as many opportunities for children to experience and connect with nature as possible,” explains Tanya Behardien, Executive Director of PDCRS. “In addition to the physical benefits, natural play is vital to early childhood development and encourages emotional and intellectual skills, including creativity and problem solving.”

The new child care centre opens September 2017 and the outdoor play environment will be developed later in the year in cooperation with students in the College’s trades program.

The Okanagan College Foundation is approaching individuals, organizations, and foundations, including College staff and alumni in the community to help reach the $700,000 fundraising goal. 

To make a donation or learn more about the innovative project, visit