The Manitoba government is investing an additional $595,000 to expand the successful Community Schools Program to five additional schools this year, Education and Early Childhood Education Minister Wayne Ewasko announced today.
“The Community Schools Program enhances the capacity of schools as hubs within communities to utilize school-community resources and services in ways that enhance the impact of effective classroom instruction,” said Ewasko. “This new funding ensures even more students will be supported and have access to co-ordinated school and community services and resources in ways that help ensure better outcomes for students, families and surrounding neighbourhoods.”
The program currently receives $2.9 million in funding and includes 36 northern, rural and urban schools serving approximately 8,700 students. The new $595,000 investment will add five schools from across the province to the program, as well as expand the scope of programming currently offered to 15 kindergarten to Grade 6 schools, 20 kindergarten to Grade 8 schools and one high school, helping to extend resources and services to more than 10,000 children.
New schools added to the program include:
- Juniper Elementary School, School District of Mystery Lake (kindergarten to Grade 8);
- Robert Smith School, Lord Selkirk School Division (kindergarten to Grade 6);
- La Verendrye School, Portage la Prairie School Division (kindergarten to Grade 8);
- Burntwood Elementary School, School District of Mystery Lake (kindergarten to Grade 8); and
- École Salisbury Morse Place School, River East Transcona School Division (kindergarten to Grade 8).
“We are very pleased to hear the news that the Community Schools Program will be expanding in our school division, and the students and families at La Verendrye School will certainly benefit from the added supports that community schools funding will provide,” said Todd Cuddington, superintendent, Portage la Prairie School Division. “We are particularly excited because we will have additional resources to support family well-being, student engagement and school-readiness programming.”
A significant portion of each school’s funding supports a designated staff person, such as a community liaison, community support worker or community connector, who works with the school principal to develop partnerships and mobilize resources that align with the needs of students and families, and support the school’s core instructional program.
Community schools help address the effects of poverty, and help families, organizations and schools work together to strengthen the family unit. Schools taking part in the program offer a number of resources and services including:
- early childhood literacy programming;
- parenting information and programs;
- before-school, evening, weekend and summer programs;
- breakfast and lunch programs;
- mentoring and youth development programs; and
- other services such as First Aid/CPR training, cultural awareness activities and crime prevention.
The minister noted the Department of Mental Health and Community Wellness will provide ongoing funding to ensure continued support of many current initiatives under the Shared Health Priorities – Mental Health and Addictions Bilateral Agreement, including the Community Schools Program.
The Community Schools Act requires a public report on the program’s activities, including a summary of consultations carried out by the Manitoba government and the performance of the program. A new report covering the program’s operation from October 2018 to October 2022 has been posted online.
For more information on the Community Schools Program and to review the most recent report, visit www.edu.gov.mb.ca/csp/index.html.
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