A grant of more than $50,000 from the Grande Prairie Public School Division Education Foundation is being divided among 17 schools within the division. Superintendent of Schools Sandy McDonald says the new learning materials and technologies purchased with the grant will provide students with more avenues for learning, and to interact with the curriculum.

“Those additional hands-on learning items take the concepts that we teach in our classes in a traditional way and provide new opportunities for students to engage with the content,” Mcdonald explains.

He adds the impacts created by these grants is “significant” and will go a long way towards bettering educational services for public school students.

“They’ve always had a desire to make sure they were contributing to students having those enhanced opportunities— those extra chances to engage in hands-on learning or in arts or in music.”

“Over the last three years, their ability to enhance basic learning through grants has really increased,” he adds. “The grants to schools have really increased, the breadth of enrichment opportunities they’re sponsoring has increased; it’s just a tremendous partnership.”

The Education Foundation calls for applications for funding on an annual basis, aiming to support programs and projects that will enhance the learning opportunities for local students. According to McDonald, it has made annual grants to the public school division since 1991.

GPPSD Education Foundation Executive Director Shaundra Siebert says the Education Foundation offers this support through its fundraising efforts in the community, individual and corporate donations, and partnerships with other community group partnerships.

“The funds go to support projects within the schools that aren’t covered through government funding allocations,” she says. “This year, the goal of the board was to spread out the money as far as we could to support as many projects as we could.”

The schools being funded by the grant, as well as the materials being purchased include:

  • Alexander Forbes School – Learning Support Items ($3000)
  • Aspen Grove School – Online Literacy Subscriptions & Learning Kits ($2275)
  • Avondale School – Laminator Replacement ($2704)
  • Charles Spencer High School – Student Store Startup, Document Cameras, and Student Subscriptions for Online Computer Technology Learning ($5398)
  • Crystal Park School – Manipulative Math Learning Kits ($3000)
  • Derek Taylor Public School – Schoolwide Fine Arts Project and Laptop to Support Special Needs ($2470)
  • Ecole Montrose – Incubators and Alternative Seating ($3000)
  • Grande Prairie Composite High School – Greenhouse ($750)
  • Hillside Community School – Laptops – ($3000)
  • Isabell Campbell Public School – Cross Country Skis ($4000)
  • IV Macklin Public School – Phys.Ed Equipment ($2553)
  • Maude Clifford Public School – OSMO Kits, Visual Working Memory Games, Online Literacy Subscriptions, and Musical Instruments ($3622)
  • Parkside Montessori – Laptops and Guided Reading Books ($3540)
  • Peace Collaborative Services – Outdoor Visual Communication Boards ($737)
  • Riverstone Public School – Cross Country Skis ($4000)
  • Roy Bickell Public School – Coding & Robotics Learning Materials ($4,000)
  • Swanavon School – Ipads ($2639)