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Thread: Edmonton Public Schools Foundation Helps Students Get Ready for Life

  1. #1
    Becoming a C2E Power Poster
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    Feb 2006

    Default Edmonton Public Schools Foundation Helps Students Get Ready for Life

    More than 200 people converged on Highlands Junior High School on February 10, 2010 to officially launch the Edmonton Public Schools Foundation. The school was abuzz, with the Highlands Cheer Team performing stunts in hallways while students greeted guests and took them to see classrooms in action and to meet community partners.
    Highland’s student Haley Judge did an amazing job of emceeing the celebration, which featured brilliant performances by students from the Virginia Park School Choir and the Lillian Osborne School Musical Theatre Group. Other highlights of the day included the introduction of the Foundation’s Board of Governors, and the rap song produced and presented by Kuriny Chuol, also a student at Highlands. Photographs are available at

    An important part of our program was the unveiling of a community-friendly logo for the Foundation by two Riverbend School students who were involved in the design consultation process. The logo truly reflects the heart and soul of the Board’s overarching priority, which is to raise friends and funds to support early learning intervention and student success.

    The Foundation is run by two staff members and has a Board of Governors that includes one school Board member, Trustee Bev Esslinger. The role of the Foundation Board is to support the efforts of the Board of Trustees by broadening and deepening support for public education and the 80,000 students who attend the 200 schools and school sites at Edmonton Public Schools.

    Research tells us that the achievement gap for many students begins before they enter the Kindergarten classroom. When children live in vulnerable circumstances and do not have access to equal opportunities for healthy growth and development, their future is at risk.

    To that end, the Board has made a commitment to subsidize the costs associated with early learning and full-day Kindergarten programs. Their goal is to provide support to the elementary schools with large numbers of students identified as Edmonton Public Schools’ most socially vulnerable citizens – those who represent the diversity of the student population and who are at risk academically.

    We recognize it takes an entire community to help students make the most of their journey from Kindergarten to high school, so we are paying particular attention to the 70 per cent of Edmontonians who pay taxes and presently do not have a direct link to the public education system.

    To build community support, we are using the same approach as Obama used during his presidential campaign. We’re busy making friends one conversation at a time by inviting members of the community to one-hour information sessions between noon and 1 p.m. at various elementary schools where students and school staff share their stories, we talk about the benefits of paying now at the front end of education as opposed to paying later, and then guests are taken on a tour of the school.

    Lunch is free and our only expectation is that everyone tells their friends, family members and colleagues about what they heard and learned. Check out what one of our guests had to say:

    We are focused on preparing children for the 21st century and ensuring Edmonton’s most vulnerable students are ready for learning and ready for life! Our challenge to the community is to:

    • attend a one-hour information session hosted by one of our schools (lunch provided);
    • make a financial or in-kind contribution to support early learning intervention and student success;
    • register the Foundation in your employee giving campaign or volunteer program; and/or
    • share ideas!

    Call us if you’d like to be invited to our first ever fundraising event. We promise it will be a memorable event. Our Ready for Life Breakfast is scheduled for Thursday, May 20, 2010 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Jasper Place School, 8950 - 163 Street. Please note that breakfast is free, but we will be asking our guests to consider making a contribution.

    Want to learn more? Have questions? Contact us:

    Director Sandra Woitas: [email protected] or 780.970.5237
    Alva Shewchuk: [email protected] or 780.970.5238

  2. #2
    Partially Addicted to C2E
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    There are many people who will have a difficult time seeing this as anything but an attempt to placate members of the communities that just had schools closed. The closure process also asked for community input and involvement, and was ignored.

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by missmarble View Post
    The closure process also asked for community input and involvement, and was ignored.
    THIS! I feel this is just a PR move. Maybe thats synical, but what else can you expect?

  4. #4

    Default What we do at the foundation

    We understand that there may be cynicism about the foundation, but we hope that doesn’t cloud its purpose. In order to ensure Edmonton’s most vulnerable children are ready for school and life, we are focused on raising funds to support both early learning intervention and student success.

    Research shows that 75 per cent of brain growth occurs between birth to age six. Therefore, we want to give children a head start in life and a successful future by investing in them now.

    Come join us at one of our information sessions and learn more about the work we do and the children we help. Just give us a shout!

    Director Sandra Woitas: [email protected] or 780.970.5237
    Alva Shewchuk: [email protected] or 780.970.5238

  5. #5
    Addicted to C2E
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Edmonton, Alberta


    Early education is extremely important and we do need to invest more resources in this area.

    As demonstrated by the recent school closures, unfortunately, the public school board seems stuck in a K to 12 silo. I'm the president of a not-for-profit preschool society which leases space in an EPSB building, but when the district compiles its viability profiles, the space we use is counted as empty. The 45 students who attend school for early education don't matter, because they are not yet enrolled in EPSB programming, even though research, as mentioned above, confirms the importance of preschool.

    Several groups who work in the inner city opposed the closure of McCauley School, including the Muttart Foundation, a key sponsor of Success by Six, and E4C. If the EPSB wants support from the community, it can't keep ignoring public input while doing what's in the best interests of itself as a "corporation." The kids have to come first.

  6. #6


    Green Grovenor, you make some excellent points. We agree, early education is extremely important, which is why the Foundation focuses on early learning intervention and student success. We’d love for you to attend our Ready for Life fundraising breakfast where you can learn more and help support these children.

    The breakfast is free and we’re very excited about our program because it's all about kids. There will be a request for contributions, but there’s no obligation. Check out the details below. You can register by contacting Alva, [email protected] or 780.970.5238.

    Thursday, May 20, 2010
    7:30 to 8:30 a.m.
    Jasper Place School, 8950 - 163 Street

    You can also check us out on twitter SWoitas.


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