Cross-Country Initiatives Set to Support Tuition Payments
Schools and school boards from across Canada have carried out plans to support the Toonies for Tuition initiative.
For the past three years, the Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario (CSCNO) holds a one-day blitz for the Toonies for Tuition campaign during the Catholic Education Week, specifically on the World Catholic Education Day.
The school board works hard to ensure all levels are involved including the schools, parents and staff.
A poster is sent the week before to the school board’s 36 schools across its large territory of 19,226 square kilometres in Northern Ontario, which includes the counties of Chapleau, Dubreuilville, Espanola, Greater Sudbury, Hornepayne, Michipicoten, North Shore, Sault Ste. Marie and a portion of West Nipissing.
They also send a letter to parents asking for a $2 donation towards the CCSTA’s Endowment Fund, which supports Catholic students in provinces that have no public funding for Catholic schools. An e-mail is sent to all staff on the Monday of the Catholic Education Week also asking for their support.
This year, the CSCNO plans to engage its Student Senate in promoting the 2017 campaign. The Student Senate is composed of the President of the Parliament of each of the school board’s nine high schools as well as their two Student Trustees (pictured). At its next Student Senate meeting in mid-December, CSCNO’s Director of Education, Mrs. Lyse-Anne Papineau, will call upon their leadership to identify strategies for the Toonies campaign. They have expressed a keen interest in being part of the 2017 campaign « Solidarité pour la scolarité » at the CSCNO! (pictured at bottom)
Meanwhile, at St. John Elementary School in Perth, Ontario, staff and students donned sports jerseys and hats in late November in order to support a Toonies for Tuition fundraiser. Each participating student was asked to donate $2 and the school raised $300. Principal Deanne Strong, along with students Hudson and Hannah Borrowman and Alex James collected the toonies from the students (pictured).
The Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board in the Peterborough region hosted a Toonies for Tuition fundraising day on Dec. 2. Student trustee Zachary Smith has been corresponding with CCSTA on their plans to support Toonies for Tuition. For instance, Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School students in Peterborough hosted a dress-down day in exchange for a toonie.
Turning Toonies into Tuition
The money raised by these fundraisers go directly to the CCSTA Endowment Fund. Each year, the Endowment Fund provides funding support to families living in provinces in which Catholic schools receive partial or no funding from the government.
Families are then left to cover tuition costs if they wish to send their children to Catholic schools. The Endowment Fund receives applications annually to help cover some of those tuition fees.
Newfoundland Catholic schools receive no government funding. As a result, the Endowment Fund has a deep connection with the families in Newfoundland to help make their children’s Catholic education dreams a reality. Here are just some testimonials from parents and students who benefited from the Endowment Fund:
“Financially, I could not afford tuition. But I clearly could see that this was a chance to be academically educated and for me to succeed in the future. Because I came to St. Bon’s at almost the end of September I could not apply to get bursary support. So in order to be able to attend this school, I had to work 5 days a week, and honestly it was tough to study every day in the morning and go to work in the restaurant as a cook and dishwasher and at the same time, catch up with my homework. Obviously that effected how often I passed in my homework and assignments late, or how prepared I was for upcoming tests. But though I had a busy year, I did way better than I have ever done since I came to Canada, and that’s all because of my great teachers; they supported me, anytime I needed help, even early in the morning, or at lunch, or after school. So finally, I’m in my final year, in my most important year. This year is something special for me because for this academic school year, I received bursary support. That support makes a big change in my life. I finally can fully focus on my school work and get my homework done on time. Even outside of school work, I joined sports activities, volunteering activities and simply have time to enjoy my free time with my classmates, friends and family. That makes me so thankful to my school and for all of those people who support the bursary program, because the bursary program is not just financial support, it’s something that opens the door to a brighter life in the future of many people.” -Student, St. Bonaventure’s School, Newfoundland
“As [my children] grow they are also growing toward God and their faith, their minds are being opened to the love of Christ in every day. This is who they are becoming and it is a part of who they are. As they are growing so am I. The faith and love that as a community in Christ is shown to me in so many ways at St. Bon’s. The continuous support of the school, the teachers and the parents as well, are enabling me to become a better person, a better Christian and a better parent. We all are a part of something tremendous and wonderful in this family at St. Bon’s.” – A mother to two children attending St. Bon’s
“I came to Canada with my mother and my four brothers in October 2006 [from South Sudan], when I was only 11 years old. The Basilica Parish sponsored us into Canada after my uncle had asked for their help. St. Bonaventure’s College agreed to take us as students even though we could not afford to pay the tuition fees and spoke no English. I wish to thank my uncle and The Basilica for bringing us to this place and most of all I would like to thank the Bursary Program for giving my brothers and me the opportunity to be able to go to this wonderful school where everyone welcomed us with open arms. – 2012 St. Bon’s Graduate, now attending Memorial University.