Palliser schools enjoy generosity of southern Albertans

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Representatives from Arrowwood Community School and Palliser Trustee Don Board, top left, and Huntsville School, bottom right, at a grant celebration by the Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta.

Staff and students at two Palliser Regional Schools received an early Christmas present, thanks to the Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta.

Their projects were among about 30 that will enjoy a share of more than $286,000 in funding from the Community Foundation as announced at its Fall-Winter Grants Celebration.

Arrowwood Community School has received $7,000 in funding towards a sensory room. In its grant application, the kindergarten to Grade 9 school explained the equipment and furnishings in the room will help students in need of extra support make their school days more productive, while supporting their overall mental well-being.

Research has shown sensory rooms can help students – as well as their parents and staff – with learning difficulties, mental health concerns, chronic pain and stress management issues. These rooms can be used by them to calm down, wake-up or participate in activities to help them self-regulate, or monitor and manage their emotions and behaviours.

Katie West, a Family Connections Worker with Palliser, helped Arrowwood apply for the grant and accepted a plaque and cheque from the Community Foundation on its behalf. The school has been able to utilize a scaled-down sensory room while awaiting funding and has found it very effective.

“It’s become a place they have identified themselves as a safe place, and we are so excited to be able to expand it and make it a reality for them,” she said, adding they are “grateful, thankful and appreciative” of the Community Foundation’s support.

A replacement for Huntsville School is currently under construction and students, staff and parents are hoping to add an enhanced playground and field space to go with it. The Community Foundation has provided them with $10,000 towards that project.

“We’re a rural school that is showing growth over the last decade and we just launched a high school program and we now have students from early learning all the way up to Grade 12,” said Anna-Marie Moulding, a teacher and member of the playground committee. “Because of this our field space and playground no longer meet our community and school needs, so we are building a new playground and redesigning our field space to better meet the needs of all our students.”

In its application package the school explained that the existing play structure doesn’t provide enough space for all students to play. They would also like to build a basketball court and nine square court to encourage older students to get outside and be active. The playground and field space will also be utilized by the community of Iron Springs.

Not only will the students benefit from being active, in providing their input on what is included in the new space they will develop leadership skills and gain a personal connection with it.

The fall celebration brings an end to the Community Foundation’s granting season. In total this year, it will have provided almost $790,000 in funding to southern Alberta organizations and projects.

The Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta manages charitable gifts from donors, whose generosity allows them to create permanent, income-earning endowment funds. The income generated by these funds is distributed to charities which help build the community of Southwestern Alberta. 

For more information on the Community Foundation, go to