School board gala raising funds for students
Proceeds help enhance learning opportunities
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 pef.lbpsb.qc.ca.