A short time back, I had the privilege of attending a luncheon hosted by the Edmonton Public School Foundation which I discovered from the @EPSFoundation twitter feed.
When my daughter was in elementary school, I was able to do many of the 'parent things' like being a teachers helper in classes, being involved in school field trips, etc.I was passionate about participating in these things since I could not remember my parents having that type of involvement. Of course, things were different 50 years ago... but one of the things I do remember was the excitement of kindergarten.
As I grew older, started a family, watched my daughter grow up (she's 25 now) I had always presumed that kindergarten was one of those inalienable rights to prepare children for school... however somewhere along the road I fell asleep as a parent and a human being and did not notice that "right to a better beginning" had been lost.
There is no question in my mind that the children are our future. They are born innocent, free of hate and biases, zero understanding of race or color issues. And those early years of life are THE time when the basic building blocks for their futures happen. We as a society, should be doing everything possible to give the children the best chances we can. Sadly, this is not happening.
The Edmonton Public School system has seen the need, and set up a Foundation to promote the sanity of early education. They cover all of the costs of the Foundations work, performed tirelessly by two major players, Sandra Woitas and Alva Shewchuk. Please... take a few moments and visit the Foundations website, the information is extensive, but some of it has not been updated because of internal objectives within the EPSB... they are trying to get all of their websites into a "standard", and the IT department hasn't been able to update the events information. Sandra has kindly passed on some new info as follows:
Upcoming info sessions at Lauderdale School, 10610 - 129 Ave.
Call the Foundation to book your free lunch for Friday January 18th, Tuesday January 29th, Thursday February 14th (be a foundation sweetheart is easy on this day) or Wednesday February 27th.
As well, there is a Ready to Shine 3 Fashion Show at Kingsway Mall on Thursday April 25th. Sandra has also advised me that their main fund raiser will be held on Thursday May 30th, at Harry Ainlay School, located at 4350 - 111 street. And a "yet to be announced" Ready to Frame event, featuring high school student art for sale.
If the love of kids doesn't get your butt in gear, then perhaps you should consider the following. I was shocked when I found out this fact during our luncheon... When you look at the "rich kids versus the poor kids"... a study by Betty Hart and Todd Risley has determined that by the age of THREE YEARS OLD, there is a 32 million word gap exposure. Yes... 32 MILLION words.
Do yourselves a favor... check out the work of the Foundation, where 100% of the funds raised go towards providing a better education for the kids. And thank the EPSB for having the decency to cover 100% of the costs of the Foundation.