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NEWS RELEASE · 13th April 2010
Ministry of Education
A total of $1.8 million in grants are available through the School Community Connections program to encourage the greater utilization of school facilities and support Neighbourhood Learning Centres.

"Schools are valuable community assets, not just for school-aged children but for the entire community," said Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid. "We are working with boards of education to increase the use of school facilities through community partnerships and this funding will further that goal."

The School Community Connections program was first announced in 2005 with a $10-million investment. Since then, more than $8 million has been committed to 340 projects. The 2010 School Community Connections program, which represents the remaining $1.8 million in funding, continues the goal of actively encouraging boards of education and local governments to work co-operatively with community partners to expand the use of schools to provide community services and support the development of Neighbourhood Learning Centres.

School districts, in partnership with local governments, can submit up to three applications - totalling no more than $30,000 - for grant funding. The School Community Connections program is jointly administered by the Province, Union of British Columbia Municipalities and British Columbia School Trustees Association.

The grant application window will be open until June 4, 2010. A board of education and local government must apply together. Grants should support planning and/or minor renovations that:
* Encourage the co-location of services for students, their families and the larger community with school facilities,
* Make greater utilization of available or new school facilities, or
* Encourage collaborative long-term planning for facilities that takes into account the needs of the community as a whole.

Through the School Community Connections program, school districts and local governments have partnered to increase community use of school facilities. Previously approved projects have included new child-care spaces, upgrades to playing fields to promote healthy lifestyles and developing community gardens.

All school districts in B.C. have been encouraged to find unique and innovative ways to design schools with community use in mind and create places where people have better access to educational and community services. Neighbourhood Learning Centres respond to community interests and may include a wide variety of programs and resources including child-care programs, office space, health clinics, sports programs, seniors' centres and family resource centres.

In addition to the School Community Connections program, the Province has also committed $30 million to assist school districts to include Neighbourhood Learning Centres in renovations or new construction.

For more information or grant application forms, visit the School Community Connections website at www.schoolconnections.ca.
Sad irony
Comment by Melanie Moore on 14th April 2010
I hope that our community realizes the sad irony of this article, considering that one of our community school buildings is closing its doors permanently this summer. With the closure of ET Kenney this summer and the moving of the 200 + students in 4 grades to the Clarence Michel building, it is doubtful there will be any physical space left in our 1 remaining community school to add any more programming or learning spaces despite how much funding is available. This money would be much better spent keeping ET Kenney open, so the community and the kids could benefit from the programs currently available.
for the sports program...
Comment by R1chard Jenniss on 13th April 2010
Build an indoor racket center.

Youth and all alike in Terrace want things to do.
A racket spoort, such as squash or racket ball is a fantastic sport to keep kids busy.

Why? It's inexpensive.
Goggles, a racket, and a squash ball.

Once the facilities are built the only maintenance you'd have is lighting.

This is a far less expensive sport than hockey and you can play it all year round.

Rupert & Smithers both have dedicated indoor regulation racket facilities. Why not Terrace?