Poverty Intervention Committee thankful for community support

The Lethbridge School District No. 51 Poverty Intervention Committee hosted a luncheon on Wednesday to acknowledge the many individuals and organizations that provide support to the program.

The Poverty Intervention Committee is a Board sub-committee chaired by Trustee Christine Light. The Board provided the luncheon to honour the committee’s donors, sponsors and volunteers who support the breakfast and lunch programs and assist with poverty intervention by way of donation of goods and services.

Trustee Jan Foster spoke about the history of the committee, which received its start in May of 2000, when the Board of Trustees received a $6,000 grant from the Canadian School Boards Association. The committee has grown and evolved from there, thanks in large part to generous community support.

“I want to thank you for everything you do for our families and our children in our school district,” said Foster. “This would not be possible without the dedication of our teachers and the support from our community.”

Light and Deeanna Presley-Roberts, co-ordinator with the District’s Making Connections program, outlined just some of the initiatives made possible through donations to the committee.

Light added the purpose of the committee is to improve educational opportunities and achievement of students impacted by poverty, and to determine the District’s progress in addressing poverty.

Presley-Roberts mentioned the needs are great in Lethbridge, as the most-recent statistics indicate one of every five children in Lethbridge, under the age of 15, live in poverty.

As a result, the committee not only provides funding for breakfast and lunch programs at schools, but it also supplies necessities such as coats, underwear, boots and hygiene products.

But even that is only part of the story, as Light added the committee also funds special requests, which allow students to participate in extracurricular activities, option classes or trips, for example.

This year, the committee has also helped fund a number of School Based Poverty Intervention Projects, such as the LCI Tea Cozy Club and the LCI and G.S. Lakie Christmas gift-making initiative.

Light also highlighted the Galbraith Coffee Cart project, which taught students a wide variety of skills such as smart shopping techniques, money handling, customer service, organization and math skills.

The FNMI Mentorship Program, Break Bins and Park Meadows (which include a variety of self-regulation tools), desk cycles for Fleetwood-Bawden and Park Meadows students and standing desks at Wilson Middle School were some of the other featured projects.

The Weekends and More initiative was also highlighted, as Presley-Roberts told those gathered for Wednesday’s luncheon that through their donations, 345 bags have been given out to local families this year. Those bags included supplies such as pantry staples, recipes and a $25 Loblaws gift card, to purchase perishable items for those recipes.

At this year’s luncheon, the following organizations were recognized for their contributions:

- Alberta Health

- Daytona Homes            

- E-Free Lethbridge

- The Family Centre

- Lethbridge Food Bank

- Park Meadows Baptist

- Sunrise Rotary Club

- UDAC

- Westside Community Church

A number of other individuals and volunteers were also recognized at the event.

Date posted: May 16, 2018

Picture number 1 from the photo album called Poverty Intervention Committee thankful for community support
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