When the final bell rings at Vermilion Forks Elementary, a group of about 20 students are given time to do their homework, play, obtain tutoring, and pitch in to prepare their own healthy snack, all thanks to a program set up at the school and funded through a grant from the Community Foundation.
This opportunity translates into success with their learning and behaviour. “We have students who have IEP (individualized Education Programs) who have goals set for their learning each semester and after having gone through the program they are meeting their goals,” said Karley Aitken, school secretary and program coordinator. “We have received very positive feedback from the parents thanking us for having this program.”
Vermilion Forks Elementary School in Princeton has offered this program for the past six years, with the school receiving a grant from the Community Foundation every year. In 2022, they received $10,000.
We are pleased to see the impact it makes on young students and their learning,” said Sarah Trudeau of the Foundation.
In 2021, flooding in Princeton temporarily shut the program. “Although it was tough to not have the program running for two months our students were resilient and picked right up where they left off,” said Aitken.
This program is waitlisted, with no other elementary school in the district offering something similar. “We are so grateful that we are able to offer the program because of the funding from the Community Foundation,” said Aitken. In the future, Aitken hopes to expand the program to incorporate gardening so that the kids can grow the food that will become their healthy snacks.