#GivingTuesday: Just Add Water

Good quality water bottles are in demand as drinking fountains are no longer available and some lower-income families simply cannot afford this extra burden.

It has been proven that dehydrated students have a lack of focus, are tired, and aren’t as alert as they should be.    Students staying well hydrated in classes improve their grades by showing a better performance on both tests and in class projects.  And, by discouraging single use plastic bottles we encourage environmentally responsible action to reduce the amounts of plastic that are jeopardizing to our planet.
Learn more about food insecurity and classroom needs HERE

Art of Life Series

Art of Life logoTo encourage and educate kids during Covid-19, dozens of artists, local personalities and skilled community members have voluntarily rushed to create or pledge content for a new video series called ‘Art of Life’.

Developed by the Foundation for Education Perth Huron, the series is made up of arts-based and life skill-themed videos with the sole purpose of encouraging and enriching kids in challenging times – like the current pandemic.

Each video is between 5 and 20 minutes long and touches on themes like drawing technique, gardening, sewing, cake decoration, music-making and mental health strategies.

“We want young people to see that we’re all in this together, to experience care and courage and creativity from our video hosts and to fill some of the holes that education systems can’t at this time”, states Foundation Executive Director Wes MacVicar regarding the purpose of the initiative.

The project is a digital embodiment of the Foundation’s new strategic values of community, creativity, collaboration and courage.

Video hosts for the Art of Life series are referred to as ‘Special Agents’. They are predominately current or one-time Perth and Huron residents and range from 11 to 64 years of age.

For many, videotaping themselves was a new and uncomfortable venture.

“Some were understandably shy to begin – it’s not easy to put yourself out there. But we’ve been impressed with all of the submissions and are happy to report that our agents are feeling a sense of community, purpose and pride through their involvement. Some of the once bashful agents are even plotting out more episodes.”

The series currently boasts 20 videos with many more episodes coming throughout the remainder of the school year.

The Art of Life series has officially launched and the Foundation is inviting educators from Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board and Avon Maitland District School Board, parents, local community and the world to introduce it to kids.

The series can be viewed and subscribed to via the Foundation’s YouTube Channel 

More information can be found on our Art of Life page

Crisis Fund to ‘Be There’ for Kids

Celebrating its 30th year, the Foundation for Education has developed a new strategic plan and is excited to announce that they are stepping up amidst a growing crisis affecting children and youth in Perth and Huron.

It’s been reported by United Way Perth Huron that approximately 15% of school-aged children and youth in Perth Huron live in low-income households – an estimated 2300 Avon Maitland (AMDSB) students.

“Faced with this stark reality and knowing that poverty is a powerful factor in whether a student succeeds in school, we have built a framework for a district-wide fund that will finally help level the playing field for kids”, states Wes MacVicar, the Foundation for Education’s Executive Director.

“Whether students lack basic necessities, face difficult challenges at home or find themselves in emergency situations- we will soon be able to be there with a quick and compassionate response.”

The fund is called the Caring Fund and this year is the building year with funds available for students beginning September (2020).

**Note: AMDSB has currently placed the Caring Fund on hold. Please contact AMDSB Superintendent and Foundation Board Member Kate Creery for more information**

“The community has been quick to see the need for such a fund. Donations are beginning to come in and that’s been very encouraging.”

Over recent months, Foundation staff have been compiling poverty statistics, accessible school council fundraising data and Principal testimonials for Avon Maitland decision-makers through which to demonstrate, what MacVicar calls, “the crisis on their doorsteps” and to ask for financial support of the Foundation alongside their local communities.

It should be noted that the Huron Perth Catholic District School Board also has a structure in place to help their vulnerable students through a longstanding support program called the St. Andre Bessette Trust Fund. More information on their fund can be found at www.huronperthcatholic.ca.

Based on local living standard forecasts, the trend around the Province and the immediate damage that COVID-19 has caused household incomes and job security, annual pressure on assistance programs like the Caring Fund will increase exponentially.

The Foundation and its Board recognizes this reality and is fully prepared to perpetually be on the lookout for financial support to keep the fund healthy and the needs of students met.

They would like to thank those who have come forward already to help spark the new fund to life and to lay the groundwork for assisting students in crisis.

Together, we look forward to providing kids with the opportunity to focus on learning … not on the barriers they are facing.

Individuals, service clubs or businesses wishing to partner with the Foundation through their Caring Fund can do so by clicking the Donate Button below or by contacting the Foundation via email (caringfund@foundationforeducation.ca) or by calling 519-527-0111 ext 239.

More information can be found at www.foundationforeducation.ca.