Sherwood Park, AB. —Two Division schools are the proud recipients of a sizable holiday grant. Dentons Make Your Mark on Poverty, an initiative of United Way of the Alberta Capital Region, awarded $1,000 each to SouthPointe School and Next Step Junior Senior High – Sherwood Park to use to raise awareness about local poverty. Already, the schools have launched creative projects—running throughout the winter—that are bringing a bit of warmth and light to those who need it most.

Next Step Junior Senior High – Sherwood Park is using the grant to fund an initiative called the Poverty Awareness with Skateboards (PAWS) Project. The school has partnered with the Old Strathcona Youth Society, where eight senior high students will learn about the challenges facing local youth and translate these stories into skateboard designs. Using their design and construction skills, these students will construct actual skateboards themed around youth living in poverty. Once the project is complete, the students will host an exhibit to show off their creations, putting the spotlight on issues that are often ignored. “It’s important to get students out into the community the see how poverty affects people their own age,” says Kristian Basaraba, a teacher at Next Step. “The skateboards will act as canvases, and bring these stories to life.”

Similarly, the students at SouthPointe School are using the grant to fund a project called Warm Hands, Warm Hearts. Seventeen students in grades 3 and 4 are gathering donations of mittens and warm winter gloves to distribute to young people in Fort Saskatchewan. The goal: To gather at least 50 pairs of mittens and gloves for each kindergarten to Grade 4 school in Fort Saskatchewan—Catholic and Public Divisions—and make them available to any student in need. Already, students have gathered more than 100 pairs of gloves and mittens—a good start toward reaching their goal.

“The students are excited to have an opportunity to run this program,” says Carole Bossert, a Grade 1 teacher at SouthPointe School. “In the process, they’re also learning how poverty can affect their friends and neighbours, and how they can work to make a difference in the community.”

These projects are just two small examples of the ways that schools across the Division show their commitment to their communities and strive to make a difference in the lives of others.

EIPS is one of Alberta’s largest school divisions, serving approximately 17,150 students in 43 schools. We are proud to be an integral part of our communities, including Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Strathcona and Lamont counties, and the western portion of the County of Minburn.




For more information contact:
Laura McNabb, director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902