POWELL RIVER, B.C. – The Orca Bus has cracked the top ten in a big provincial competition.

The bus is a mobile play and learning centre that helps educate youth in the Powell River area, including Texada Island, Lund and Saltery Bay.

It’s a partnership between the United Way, Success by 6 and School District 47.

“Anyone from zero to six, and their parents, can come and play, we move around to make sure all parents and families have access to play-based learning,” said Beth Zroback, the coordinator for Success by 6.

Success by 6 is an organization that works alongside other municipal and provincial groups to deliver learning opportunities to children and families.

The Orca Bus is one of its initiatives, and through the BCAA competition, is in the running for a makeover worth up to $100,000.

The Orca Bus provides services for parents and their children. Photo courtesy Beth Zroback.

The current bus is a 2001-model and according to Zroback, is rusty and in need of a replacement. She said it provides a valuable service to the community.

“The Orca Bus is one of the only of its kind. It’s really important for a community to come together, it’s a huge example of collaboration,” she said.

“It would be really great if the community could help support us, and help bring us a new bus.”

The goal is to purchase a shorter bus with no air brakes and fill it with outdoor and indoor equipment to expand its reach, and provide more summer hours.

Voting is open until June 17th, 2018 and can be done at bcaaplayhere.com.

A Facebook page has also been set up to support the Orca Bus’ bid in the competition. That can be viewed via this link.