BOW VALLEY – A $266,000 donation to Canadian Rockies Public Schools will be used to help renovate the Canmore Collegiate High School theatre and add a new culinary arts kitchen at Banff Community High School.
The donation brings the total investment from the Wim and Nancy Pauw foundation to $1 million for the 2022-23 school year. The foundation previously donated $734,000 to the public school division.
“Words cannot express the gratitude Canadian Rockies Public Schools extends to the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation for their incredibly generous investment in learning opportunities and supports for our students,” said CRPS superintendent Chris MacPhee in a media release.
“Every day, I am reminded of how fortunate our communities are to have a philanthropic organization that supports public education. … Our staff and students have a million reasons to be thankful today.”
The Pauw Foundation has helped with enhanced student programming and support for the past 10 years. The funding was initially for student programming for Banff students in outdoor pursuits, school athletics and nature explorers.
However, the funding has grown to help students in Kindergarten to Grade 12, with the four goals related to athletics, outdoor pursuits, outdoor and experiential education and student wellness and wrap-around supports.
“After working closely for over 10 years with CRPS, we are thrilled to reach the $1 million milestone in annual donations. Investing in education is vital for the development and growth of students, their families, and the community as a whole,” said Cathy Geisler, executive director of the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation, in a media release.
“Along with supporting initiatives that encourage physical activity and outdoor learning, our funding helps CRPS offer programs focused on mental wellness that help create healthier and more engaged youth in the Bow Valley. We look forward to partnering with CRPS for many years.”
Of the $1 million in funding, $255,000 has been put towards student wellness and wrap-around supports that helped the school division hire a speech and language pathologist, occupational therapist and carry forward the services of a divisional psychologist, a school and family wellness worker and school counsellors.
A $70,000 donation went towards outdoor pursuits that allow Kindergarten to Grade 8 to have lessons in either swimming, curling, golfing, tennis, hiking, skating, snowshoeing, canoeing or cross-country/downhill skiing.
Another $415,000 went to offset participation and transportation costs or used to engage students in outdoor programming such as the Outdoor Learning Centre’s Wim and Nancy Pauw Wilderness Experience program and nature explorers.
“As an integral partner in our system, the Pauw Foundation must be commended for supporting and fueling CRPS' comprehensive approach to learning,” added MacPhee.