Message from the Director 
 
Hello Foundation Friends,
 
Please take a short break and read our first edition of "From the Heart." This quarterly newsletter is a celebration of the outstanding community support we receive to ensure Edmonton Public Schools' most socially vulnerable students are ready for learning and ready for success! 
 
People like you are why so many amazing things are happening in our schools to help shape today's children into tomorrow's leaders. If you have an article or information you'd like to include in our next issue, we would love to hear from you.  
 
We are also very excited to announce that our Ready for Life fundraising breakfast is scheduled for May 5 at Lillian Osborne School. The students and staff are busy planning and practicing to make this year's event the best yet. More details are below. We hope you can join us!
 
Hard copies of this Spring Newsletter are also available. If you would like a hard copy, please contact me and we can arrange to get it in your hands. Thank you for your continued support!
 
Warm regards,

Tracy Poulin
Director Edmonton Public Schools Foundation
 
 
Table of Contents
Welcome to our First Newsletter Issue 
 
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There are so many exciting things occurring on a daily basis at our Foundation and we want to share the news with our wonderful partners and friends who make this happen. Our goal is to keep you informed by sharing stories, featuring our fundraising events, and recognizing our supporters who help level the playing field for children who are disadvantaged.
 
Classrooms are increasingly diverse with more students arriving in Kindergarten with critical gaps in their social, emotional, language and academic readiness. Eighty-five per cent of the brain’s development occurs by age five, so we know there is a window of opportunity to give students the help they need to set them up for success. Research informs us that early learning and full-day Kindergarten are the first steps in bridging inequities for these students. By providing the gift of time, resources and a full day of positive role models, we are priming our little ones for life-long learning and endless possibilities for their future. If we don’t, the gaps in learning will potentially grow larger causing our students to get further behind in their learning.
 
Our District dedicates funding to sustain full-day Kindergarten in 21 of the highest needs schools. However, there is a clear need for more classrooms to be funded. As a Foundation, we reach out to the hearts and minds of Edmontonians to raise these funds. Due to the generosity of the community, we are successfully funding six more full-day Kindergarten programs at Beacon Heights, Calder, Lauderdale, Princeton, Mee-Yah-Noh and Tipaskan.
 
Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Our dreams are BIG, so let’s work together to ensure all children are ready for learning and ready for life!
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8th Annual Ready for Life Fundraising Breakfast 
 
Come help us celebrate! Each year, we host a fundraising breakfast and invite our guests to consider making a contribution to help us fund full-day Kindergarten programs for those children who are disadvantaged and require the extra learning time. The event includes amazing student entertainment, a few inspirational speakers and a video - all of which is a celebration of the great things happening in schools as a result of Edmonton's generous community.
 
May 5 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.
Lillian Osborne School, 2019 Leger Road NW (Free - continental breakfast included)
 
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Edmonton Public Schools Foundation – Rule the Runway: Spring Fashion Show 
 
Along with our partner Kingsway Mall, the Foundation is pleased to be hosting its 7th annual Student Fashion Show.  This year, the show has been rebranded as Rule the Runway: Spring Fashion Show.  Fashion Studies students from five Edmonton Public schools are designing and creating two-piece collections. Participating schools include Harry Ainlay, L.Y. Cairns, M.E. LaZerte, Jasper Place and W.P. Wagner schools. Prior to the fashion show, there will be a VIP Reception to offer special guests an opportunity to enjoy some wine and hors d’oeuvres while networking with sponsors, partners and Kingsway Mall staff. This $100 ticket also includes reserved front row seating at the fashion show.
 
When:  Thursday, April 27, 2017
VIP Reception:  5 to 7 pm
Student Fashion Show:  7 to 8:30 pm
Where:  Kingsway Mall, 109 Street and Kingsway

Tickets:  VIP Reception and Student Fashion Show - $100 per person
Tickets:  Student Fashion Show - $10 per person
 
Further information: foundation@epsb.ca
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Show & Tell Information Sessions! 
 
As some of you may know, we regularly invite members of the community to Show & Tell sessions. If you have never attended and/or have a friend who would be interested in visiting a full-day Kindergarten classroom to see how things have changed in today's classrooms and hear more about the work of our Foundation, please RSVP to: foundation@epsb.ca
 
March 10 from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Tipaskan School, 1200 Lakewood Road North
April 12 from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mee-Yah-Noh School, 9228 - 128A Ave
June 15 from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Beacon Heights School, 4610 -121 Ave
 
 
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Edmontonians Deserve an A+ for their Support 
 
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Happy Harbor Comics is the most recognized comic and pop culture store in Edmonton. Its owner, Jay Bardyla, is even more recognizable with his long hair, superhero tattoos and year-round garb of shorts and comic t-shirts.
 
Jay has established a mandate of giving back to the community. Happy Harbor is a strong proponent of the local arts scene, sponsoring Fringe plays and Art Walk, and supports a variety of charities and organizations such as the Edmonton Food Bank, Valour Place and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. His award winning business runs a free weekly School and Library Comic Program, provides graphic novels to inner city high schools, raises money for the Boys and Girls Club and operates an Artist in Residence Program.
 
When Jay learned the Edmonton Public Schools Foundation’s mission was to raise money for full-day Kindergarten programming for those children who need it the most, it just made sense for Happy Harbor to get involved. Not only is Jay a champion and long-term donor to the Foundation, Happy Harbor has hosted two unique fundraisers to fill up our full-day Kindergarten piggybank. On one occasion they raised $495 by inviting customers to make a contribution during their Local Comic Shop Day. Last December, Jay hosted a Mammoth 48-Hour Comic Book Marathon and Hello Closing Party, along with a talented group of illustrators and writers who created the world’s largest comic book to commemorate the closing of the Royal Alberta Provincial Museum. Members of the community paid to have themselves written into the comic book and the event raised $2,121 for the Foundation!
 
Helping children succeed lends itself to the very principles that superheroes embody. One does not need laser vision or the ability to fly; one simply needs a kind heart. Luckily, Edmonton is full of everyday superheroes like Jay!
 
Visit Happy Harbor Comics at their website here: http://happyharborcomics.com/
Written by Alena Helgeson, Foundation friend
 
Amazing Donations from the Edmonton Civic Employees Charitable Assistance Fund! 
 
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Since 2012, the Edmonton Civic Employees Charitable Assistance Fund (ECECAF) has provided financial support totalling $238,628.00, for critical resources for our full-day kindergarten classrooms! Resources include these backpacks being modeled by the kinders at Tipaskan School!
 
These backpacks are just the tip of the iceberg of help provided by the ECECAF. The funds allow teachers to purchase learning items such as games, books, supplies and puzzles for the children to use at home. The students are also excited to receive the gift of new shoes, winter woolies and indoor physical activity items (ex. Princeton School purchased Yoga Mats)! The ECECAF also covers the fee, transportation and snacks for any field trips taken this makes it possible for all children to gain valuable experiences outside the classroom.
 
These resources make a huge difference in the lives of our full-day Kindergarten students, many of whom receive new shoes for the first time in their lives. The winter woolies helps students who do not have or have lost their warm winter mittens or hats. Many of the field trips would simply not be possible without the support of the ECECAF.
 
We would like to pass on our heartfelt thank you to the ECECAF for their donations that set these children up for success. You can visit the ECECAF website here: http://ececaf.ca/
2016 Kingsway Mall Christmas Fundraiser – It’s a Wrap! 
 
Article ImageFor five years, our gracious partner Kingsway Mall has invited us to wrap presents and check coats during the Christmas season.  They gift us with an awesome location in the mall, free promotions and a myriad of glitzy supplies. In turn, we recruit enough volunteers to Wrap&Roll from the moment stores open on Black Friday until stores close on December 24.  The first few weeks when it isn’t busy, our volunteers pre-wrap hundreds of boxes which are truly a blessing when the customer frenzy takes over before Santa arrives.

Many of our volunteers, like the energetic students at Ross Sheppard School, contribute innumerable hours of their time every year. 2016 was no different! Over 200 enthusiastic volunteers – students, staff and parents from various Edmonton Public schools, post-secondary students and members of our generous community – had lots of fun while thoughtfully attending to customers and helped raise over $14,000. 

Thanks to Kingsway Mall and our volunteers, those dollars and some change went directly into our piggybank to sustain the full-day Kindergarten programs we fund at Beacon Heights, Calder, Lauderdale, Mee-Yah-Noh, Princeton and Tipaskan schools..
 
29% of Alberta’s
children arrive at
Kindergarten without
the strong foundation
they need to be
successful and are
significantly behind
their peers in literacy
and learning skills.
 
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If you would like to donate, have any questions or feedback, please contact us:
 
Edmonton Public Schools
Centre for Education
1 Kingsway NW
Edmonton, AB, T5H 4G9
 
Phone: 780.970.5238

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Edmonton Public Schools Foundation
1 Kingsway Ave NW
Edmonton, AB T5H 4G9
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