The board of the Prince Albert Catholic School Division reaffirmed their support for the Toonies for Tuition campaign during their regular meeting on Monday. The board unanimously chose to support the fundraiser by donating to it.
The board approves one fundraiser annually for an organization outside of the division and they chose to support it again in August 2020.
“The goal is to raise the approximate value of $2 per student in our school division. For example, if we have 3,000 students our soft goal would be to acquire, to do fundraising for $6,000 and that gets forwarded to the trust to the Canadian Catholic School Trustees Association and they have a committee that reviews all of the applications. So that is something that we are going to endeavour to do over the next few weeks,” director of education Lorel Trumier said.
The campaign supports students in provinces where there is no public funding for Catholic schools.
The initiative was spearheaded in Canada by vice chair Albert Provost and began in 2011. The board has many new members and during the discussion Provost provided some background to get the board motivated. Trustees may have been aware of the campaign but from the perspective as a parent or stakeholder in the division.
“They have been very proud to support Catholic education over many years and we are fortunate in this province to have publicly funded Catholic education and we don' t take that for granted for a minute so that's important,” Trumier said.
The campaign has seen a drop in donations during the past year, as expected with schools closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the initial campaign in the fall $21, 219 was raised and any additional funds added between now and May will be added to the total. During the discussion Trumier explained that the division usually reaches out to parishes but have not been able to this year.
In 2020, the President of the Saskatchewan Catholic School Board Association, Delmar Wagner contacted the division after the Annual General Meeting of the organization to advise that Prince Albert Catholic had fundraised the highest dollar amount per student in Saskatchewan.
Each year a trophy is presented for the highest provincial and highest school board/division winner.
Last year in Prince Albert the total funds raised were $2,250 with Ecole St. Anne raising the highest dollar amount with $1,200.
Last year's provincial winner was Saskatchewan and the winner of the school board/division trophy was Kenora Catholic Division in Ontario. Prince Albert Catholic previously won the trophy from 2011 to 2017. The province of Saskatchewan also won the provincial trophy from 2011 to 2017.
Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald