Not all schools are created equally

Dear editor,

Courtenay Elementary School is a community school with a big heart. We have passionate teachers and a principal who collect our children each day with warm smiles. We have a team that wants to be the change for these young learners. As a parent volunteer and Parent Advisory Committee member at this school for many years, it saddens me that there isn’t more support for Courtenay Elementary School and other vulnerable schools in SD71.

All too often the burden of fundraising for a school falls on the PAC and teaching staff. An old school like ours needs constant replenishing of worn-out supplies. Our school is circa 1953 and as such many of our play-based learning toys, furniture, art supplies, etc. need to be fundraised from our school community. Sadly, we cannot keep up and our school is falling further behind other schools that can successfully fundraise and build up the school learning experience.

Courtenay Elementary School also has a unique dynamic of having a high number of ‘walk to school’ families. This is a healthy and green success for our school. However, when it comes to transporting children to field trips, often we do not have enough parent volunteer drivers. Compound that with a lack of field trip funds, our school and others in similar situations will have fewer field trip learning experiences. Many of our friends attending other SD71 schools have the privilege of experiencing healthy lifestyle sports such as cross country skiing or attending SD71 An Introduction to Water Sport-Safety with Compass Adventure. It would be ideal if all schools could have the same enriching school experience. This is not the case.

Hopefully with the help of our community we can work together to find solutions to help our most vulnerable schools.

You can check in at your local bottle depot to support a school with refundable bottles. The Return-It Centre in Comox has account number 92 and number 73 in Courtenay for Courtenay Elementary. Perhaps you belong to a group that is passionate for supporting youth. Maybe you could offer a unique experience to the classroom? Please reach out to a school in need.

Kindle Parsons


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