BOW VALLEY – The Canadian Rockies Public School Board (CRPS) is reeling after receiving the largest one-time donation the board has seen in its history on Thursday (June 20).
The Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation announced it would donate $355,000 to the board to be split up and invested into three programs Bow Valley students have access to.
In a press release sent out by the foundation Friday, it said $113,000 would be allocated to extracurricular and athletics, $135,000 for outdoor education and $107,000 for academics and wellness.
“The largest historical donation the schools in the Bow Valley, the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation commits to a partnership that supports enhanced programming for CRPS students, with a shared goal of creating a ‘best-ever’ school experience,” the release read.
“The goal is to endorse unique made-in-the-mountains programs that enhance traditional learning, and to ensure affordability for programs such as athletics, that have high costs of participation.”
CRPS superintendent, Chris MacPhee, said the donation has been extremely heartwarming for himself and other board members.
“It’s been extremely heartwarming for us in the school division to know that the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation, the Town of Banff, ID 9 and the Pursuit Collection folks recognize their social responsibility and have chosen CRPS to be some of the beneficiaries for their contributions,” said MacPhee.
“Why this is important for us, the government does not fund all of these wonderful options and courses and activities that our students in this valley are able to access. These courses the students have access too would not be available if it wasn’t for the social conscience of these, solely the Banff and Lake Louise community partners.”
Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation executive director Cathy Geisler said the program’s funding aligns with the foundation’s goals.
“This year it was just a real significant jump because as we build our relationship and understand the programs that they’re running and the needs that there are in the community we just felt that the time was right to expand our funding and support more of what’s going on across all of the schools,” she said
“Fundamentally our goal is to contribute to a more active vibrant and happy community and underneath that we have three pillars, those being active lifestyles, enhancing education and building community … We want kids to have opportunities.”
The $113,000 extracurricular and athletics portion would include fee supplementation for extracurricular sports as well as full funding for Outdoor Learning Centre programs. The funds allocated towards outdoor learning would also include fee supplementation as well as support nature-based learning programs.
As well, the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation said it’s donating $75,000 out of the $355,000 towards mental health and wellness initiatives.