School District 47 has received $343,568 from the provincial ministry of education in one-time funding to increase food security for students and their families. The fund is also designated to support students, parents and guardians with affordability concerns.
At the Powell River Board of Education meeting on November 16, superintendent of schools Dr. Jay Yule outlined the $60-million provincial program. School-based initiatives provide an initial budget of $100 per student. Yule said that school principals had put together affordability fund initiatives and the funds were not just for vulnerable students.
“Brooks [Secondary School] has costs for sports teams or students going on some kinds of trips,” said Yule. “We put funding in place for all schools to make sure they have meals available for anyone who should need it.”
Yule said there is still money left over, where funds could be allocated to Powell River Recreation Complex for student activities on professional development days. He said the board could also look at opportunities for the March break or through the summer, as well as supplements for vulnerable families. He said there is also an opportunity to consult with the school district parent advisory committee to gather ideas from them.
Edgehill Elementary School will be receiving $23,400, and allocations include enhancing hardship funds for clothing options, enhancing food programs, city bus passes for students or families who may require them, instruments for band classes and school jerseys or t-shirts for gym classes.
Henderson Elementary School will be receiving $12,200 and is planning enhanced food programs and nutritional opportunities for students and families, hardship funds for clothing options and covering costs of the home alone program.
James Thomson Elementary School will be receiving $24,600 for enhanced food programs and a clothing program for vulnerable students in primary grades.
Kelly Creek Community School will be receiving $17,800 and will be enhancing food programs, plus a clothing program for vulnerable students in primary grades, and also providing transportation assistance.
Texada Elementary School will be offering an enhanced food program with its $3,300 allocation.
Westview Elementary School will be allocated $36,500 for enhanced food programs.
Brooks will be receiving $76,300 and will offer cost-free class materials and workbooks, and cost-free extra-curricular trips.
Board of education chairperson Dale Lawson said this funding is a fantastic opportunity for the district.