When the Edmonton Public School Board Foundation (EPSB Foundation) approached us to partner with them in support of their full-day Kindergarten program we fell in love with their promise to level the educational playing field for all children, no matter their socio-economic status. But, we couldn’t get one thing off our minds.
If full-day Kindergarten is so successful in bridging critical gaps in children’s social, emotional, language and academic readiness—essentially giving them the tools to start them on a successful educational journey—they why isn’t it fully funded by the province?
What we learned is that much of it is. 21 classes to be exact. Basically, the government ensures that basic educational needs are being met, and although they see the value of full-day K, there just aren’t enough dollars to 100% cover it. Similar to why The Stollery Foundation, Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation and others were created—to “top up” and provide specialized, additional services, programs, and resources to their parent organization. Similarly, the EPSB Foundation was created after hearing from parents, families, and the community, that full-day K was an essential educational component, and so this has been their sole mandate and priority since their inception.
EPSBF uses 100% of the funds they raise to fund additional classes that are identified as in-need but are out of scope in because of budget constraints. With a goal of funding 15 classes, EPSB Foundation currently funds six, with high hopes of adding more each year (while still maintaining the budget to fund the existing six).
Apricity is thrilled to work with them in 2019 on reaching this goal. We’ll be sharing more information about the Foundation, the program and how you can get involved to support. Keep your eyes peeled on our website and social channels, or drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get involved.