School board ga­la rai­sing funds for stu­dents

Pro­ceeds help en­hance lear­ning op­por­tu­ni­ties

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

TFunds at work

The Les­ter B. Pear­son School Board is en­cou­ra­ging people to put away the books and ru­lers for one night and don some fan­cy clothing to at­tend a ga­la be­ne­fit­ting stu­dents.

he third an­nual Pear­son Edu­ca­tio­nal Foun­da­tion’s Let’s Give Back to the Fu­ture of our Stu­dents ga­la, ta­king place Nov. 8, is pro­mi­sing a night of ma­gic, ac­cor­ding to or­ga­ni­zers.

Funds rai­sed will be used to sup­port pro­grams and ini­tia­tives that go beyond re­gu­lar go­vern­ment fun­ding. The foun­da­tion says such fun­ding is ne­ces­sa­ry if they want to ful­ly en­rich the lives of stu­dents in the Les­ter B. Pear­son School Board fa­mi­ly.

“Most of the mo­ney from this par­ti­cu­lar ga­la will go to fund grant re­quests from our schools,” said Bar­ba­ra Frees­ton, pre­sident of the Pear­son Edu­ca­tio­nal Foun­da­tion, ad­ding that de­mand is gro­wing each year.

“Th­ree years ago, we had $35,000 in grant re­quests and had dis­tri­bu­ted $25, 000,” she said.

Two years ago the or­ga­ni­za­tion re­cei­ved close to $50,000 in re­quests.

It was able to dis­tri­bute about $30,000 in funds.

“It keeps gro­wing - and the re­quests get more in­no­va­tive and crea­tive – that’s the cool part,” she ex­plai­ned.

Frees­ton puts the need fur­ther in pers­pec­tive when no­ting that last year the foun­da­tion re­cei­ved re­quests for pro­jects that would have to­ta­led $150,000.

A por­tion of last year’s funds went to stu­dents at Mount Plea­sant Ele­men­ta­ry in Hud­son, who were then able to learn how to map their ter­rain using GPS units, while stu­dents at Dor­set Ele­men­ta­ry School used their grant mo­ney to teach se­niors how to use iPads. In ad­di­tion, foun­da­tion funds were used to turn chil­dren’s sto­ries in­to ful­ly-bound books, as well as to res­tore a pond and a buil­ding gar­den at John Ren­nie High School.

“These pro­ject all taught stu­dents dif­ferent things –eco­lo­gy, team work with dif­ferent age groups, as well as res­pon­si­bi­li­ty and pride,” Frees­ton ad­ded. “That’s a lot of ma­gic.”

This year’s ga­la fun­drai­sing tar­get is $60,000.

Frees­ton says much of the mo­ney will be used to pro­mote lear­ning in arts, sciences and en­tre­pre­neur­ship.

PEF, a re­gis­te­red cha­ri­ty, al­so pro­vides de­ser­ving stu­dents with scho­lar­ships and awards ba­sed on fi­nan­cial need, while ad­di­tio­nal­ly as­sis­ting stu­dents in need with food and clothing.

The Nov. 8 ga­la eve­ning, being held at the She­ra­ton Mon­treal Air­port Ho­tel in Dor­val, will fea­ture fine di­ning and live en­ter­tain­ment. For ti­cket prices or to learn more about the foun­da­tions th­ree le­vels of spon­sor­ships call 514 422-3000, ext. 2212, or go to

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