Each year the Foundation helps fund projects and initiatives at our schools that are not funded by Alberta Education. Stay tuned each week beginning mid-January for a testimonial from each school that received funds this year. To see a full list of funding, please click here.
St. Francis of Assisi Middle School – Our Lady of Victory Camp Retreats
Grade 7 and 8 students attended Faith Retreats at Our Lady of Victory Camp. These retreats help students grow closer in their faith. One grade 8 student noted, "I have learned how to work well with others and learning about God and our faith can be really fun, entertaining, and interesting." $3,130 was allotted towards this.
École Secondaire Notre Dame High School - Bridges
From March 1 to April 26, senior volunteers visited with students at Notre Dame RD as a way to "bridge" the gap between generations. These "Elders" as they were lovingly referred to, helped bring a wide variety of discussions, debates and interactions on a project that centred on important values. Students thoroughly enjoyed working with their new friends and hope the program runs again in the future. This project was allocated $800.
Holy Family School - Grade Retreats
Students in Grade 1-5 participated in a grade-specific retreat at Our Lady of Victory Camp. The retreats focused on engaging activities/sessions and prayers to help students grow in their faith. One of our school goals is to help students realize they are children of God, and help them grow closer to Him through a missionary spirit. The retreats helped instil the love of Christ in our students' hearts, and in turn, they can share their experiences and love with our greater community. $3,400 was allotted towards this initiative.
St. Teresa of Avila School - Bucket Fillers for Jesus Retreat
Twenty Grade 4-5 students participated in the Bucket Fillers for Jesus Retreat at Sacred Heart Church. These student leaders participated in a variety of sessions including team building, peer mediation, games, writing prayers, and preparing a meal for lunchtime. Students were encouraged to strengthen their faith-based leadership skills through the sessions, which will then permeate the school through activities students plan for the school community. $700 was allotted towards this initiative.
Division - RDCRS READS
The RDCRS READS Summer Reading Program is an exciting way to encourage our students to read throughout the summer months. In the summer of 2016, sixteen of our schools chose to participate in this program. $5,000 has been allotted towards this program for summer, 2017.
Division - Grow Boys
Each year, hundreds of Grade 5 boys from Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools and Red Deer Public Schools gather together for the Grow Boys event. This full day leadership conference helps to provide these students with an opportunity to discover, improve, and share skills in a variety of ways. This day provides sessions to support the happy, healthy growth and development of these students. $1,500 has been allocated towards this event.
Father Henri Voisin School - Packing Up for Literacy
The “Packing Up for Literacy” project helped students improve their literacy through the creation and sharing of literacy backpacks. Students created groups and a budget for this project. Grade 5 students especially enjoyed reading to Kindergarten students after the backpacks were created. $600 was allocated towards this project.
Division - Middle School Second Annual District Band Event
Middle school students came together for the Second Annual District Band Event to work with new clinicians and master conductors. This special event allowed students to work with guest conductors and expert clinicians who are specifically trained on their instruments. This was an authentic learning opportunity for students and included leadership from band students from École Secondaire Notre Dame High School. $5,690 was allotted towards this initiative.
St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School - Feeding the Hungry
As the school continues to grow, so does the needs of students. Knowing that proper nutrition in the morning supports students in their learning, the school has expanded their Breakfast Program to five days a week. The school also offers lunches. $1,250 has been allotted towards feeding students at this school.
St. Martin de Porres School - Little Free Libraries
Students created and painted 20 Little Free Libraries filled with an assortment of recycled books. The mission of Little Free Libraries is "to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations." These little libraries have been placed throughout the community of Red Deer in partnership with the “Small Acts Matter” and “Books on the Bus” programs with some libraries at schools outside of Red Deer. $3,480 was allotted to this project.
St. Francis of Assisi Middle School - Mental Health Project
Student "Health Champions" completed the Community Partners Program at St. Francis of Assisi Middle School. Through this project and various school activities, these student leaders helped other students deal with anxiety, stress and provided lessons on how to build resiliency. Health Champions are pictured here after their Halloween project where they offered students the option to trade in Halloween candy for items such as water bottles, toothbrushes and apples. This is just one of the many projects the $2,200 in funding has and will continue to assist with.
Division - Go Girls
Go Girls is a one day event that promotes health and wellness to all Grade 5 girls at Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools and Red Deer Public Schools. High school students volunteer their time to provide mentorship for the girls and lead them through an assortment of activities through “see-and-try” sessions based on a variety of physical activities, sports and nutrition. The hope is that with an increased exposure to a variety of physical activities, young girls will feel encouraged to continue or begin to get involved in physical activity for fun, friendship and healthy lifestyles. This event has been allocated $1,500.
St. Teresa of Avila School – Breakfast Program
Two student volunteers help to serve breakfast to the school community with a choice of fruit, cheese, yogurt, granola bars, juice and toast. All students are welcome to use the breakfast program with $3,000 going towards the program to continue offering nutritious food daily to students at the school. This is a great way for the school community to start their day with a healthy meal.
École Camille J. Lerouge School - Pure Witness Retreats
Middle school students had the privilege of participating in Pure Witness Youth Retreats, which focus on living a life with Christ in accordance with the Gospel. These retreats help to provide positive Christian leadership through a team of dynamic, pure-living adults. Additionally, students participated in fun-filled games, inspiring talks and testimonies, funny skits, inspiring dramas, small group discussions, uplifting music, and an opportunity to interact with an awesome team of young adults who have dedicated their lives to Christ. $3,000 has been allotted towards this initiative.
Division - Sensory Tools
Sensory toolkits provide staff with tools to give to students an opportunity to self-regulate and encourage them to be more comfortable and productive in a school setting. These kits help the estimated 1 in 6 people who have some difficulty with sensory processing. Each of our Inclusive Lead Teachers, Family School Enhancement Counsellors and Model of Student Support (MS2) have been equipped with a sensory toolkit. $2,500 was allotted to this project.
St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School - Dual Language Books
With a growing number of immigrant families moving to Innisfail, the school has been entrusted with the task of teaching new Canadians how to read, write, and speak English. Knowing that learning doesn't just occur at school, dual language books have helped students both at school and home.
The books purchased through the $1,000 provided by the Red Deer Catholic Education Foundation has contributed to a strong home reading program that not only reinforces the learning at school but also allows parents to journey with their sons and daughters. These books have also helped students assist their parents with language development.
Father Henri Voisin School - Grade 5 Servant Leadership
Grade 5 leadership students are an important part of the school culture at Father Henri Voisin School. These leaders share their God-given talents with the school community in a variety of ways to make their school a better place to be. Some of the leadership roles include: leading prayers, leading Bucket Filling Assemblies, leading lunch recess activities, planning and orchestrating special days (i.e. Math Day, Spirit Days, Earth Day, etc.), planning and promoting First Nations, Métis, and Inuit activities, school wellness activities, designing t-shirts, as well as developing and serving healthy snacks!
$750 was allotted to help Grade 5 students learn about and thrive from leadership initiatives.
St. Patrick’s Community School – Breakfast Program
On any given day, over 50 of our students from Kindergarten to Grade 9 use the school's Breakfast Program, alongside 20 staff volunteers and 10 health champions. $1,500 was given to this important program to continue offering nutritious food to students on a daily basis. It is a great way to start each day with friendly smiles and nutrients needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School - Faith Retreats
Grade 6 and 8 students travelled to Our Lady of Victory Camp for fellowship and spiritual encounters. It was such a positive experience that two students chose to apply to become camp counsellors this summer. Both staff and students felt that these retreats allowed students to learn more about Catholicism in a safe, caring, and entertaining way. $4,300 was allotted towards these faith retreats.
Division - Wild West Catholic Youth Conference
Four students from each school in our Division had the opportunity to participate in the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton’s Wild West Youth Conference hosted in Red Deer on September 30 to October 2, 2016. Selected students had the opportunity to grow in their Catholic faith and be leaders of their school communities. $4,000 was allocated towards this event. Read student testimonials here.
École Our Lady of the Rosary School - Building Christian Character Centre
$700 was allocated towards the enhancement of the Building Christian Character Centre at École Our Lady of the Rosary School. Last year, the Foundation helped to set up this mobile technology centre in the Learning Commons, and includes iPads, sitting cushions, faith books, puzzles, and a set of Bible character puppets. This year, the Foundation helped the school purchase additional resources to help grow our Christian qualities, and help to deepen knowledge in our faith.