MONTREAL, SEPTEMBER 29, 2008 - The S’Cool Life Fund national tour touched down in Côte Saint-Luc on September 29 to make the DREAMS of students at John Grant High School in come true. Driven by children’s DREAMS – Drama, Recreation, Extracurricular, Arts, Music and Sports – S’Cool Life Fund donates grants to support programs and activities to ensure that Canadian elementary students have an opportunity to explore their imagination and creativity and experience a more fun and exciting school life.
John Grant High School is an alternative learning setting that caters exclusively to 160 special need students. Its goal is to meet the specific needs of each teenager so he or she can develop the social and work competencies required to become autonomous adults. The administration believes that students can learn many valuable social skills such as sharing, taking turns, listening and anger management by participating in playful activities. Officials from S’Cool Life Fund presented John Grant with a $4,990 grant to cover the cost of fitness, arts and recreation equipment for Secondary I students. Priszm Income Fund representatives, André Foisy and Christian Boutin were on hand to present a cheque to the school and its students. Teacher Katherine Rendall Green and Secondary I student representatives Vanessa Watkins and Angelica Rachiele expressed their thanks to Priszm for the generous contribution.
“Research has shown that the integration of special needs students into our mainstream society is directly linked to their individual level of social skills development,” says Principal Demetra Droutsas. “People who cannot properly read social cues and cannot react in a manner that their peers perceive as appropriate become outcasts. Although these skills can be taught in a very structured academic setting, sometimes it is much more enjoyable to learn these life lessons in an environment where everyone is doing something they like. The more opportunities we give our students to learn and to integrate various social skills, the greater their chances will become of fully participating in our society. The various sports, art and recreational activities we have proposed will allow our students to explore and integrate social abilities while they are having fun!
“S’Cool Life Fund is a wonderful way to make some of our DREAMS come true. Schools rarely benefit from these kinds of donations and this is especially appreciated as type of program is an excellent way to motivate students. Learning occurs for children in the classroom, but also in the gym, with an instrument, on stage or visiting a museum.”
S’Cool Life Fund received 268 project requests from across the country in 2007 and is donating grants totalling more than $300,000. Since its inception in 2005, S’Cool Life Fund has provided support to 333 diverse projects and awarded more than $1.1 million in grants.
“All of the schools we have visited to award S’Cool Life Fund grants have told us that we are providing valuable support to these kids,” says chairman, John I. Bitove. “The response that we have received from principals, teachers, parent advisory committees, and especially the students has been truly phenomenal.”
S’Cool Life Fund is supported by Priszm Income Fund (owner and operator of 465 quick service restaurants under the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands), XM Canada and Scott’s Real Estate Investment Trust. Mr. Foisy is encouraging more EMSB schools to apply for grants. For more information, please visit http://www.scoollifefund.ca.
The John Grant Project Budget Breakdown:
Fitness Equipment: $2,618.15 (weights, 3-Tier dumbbell Rack, ultra skin balls, exercise balls, exercise ball holders, shuttlecocks, badminton net, badminton racquets, bean bags, goggles, juggling scarves and indoor/outdoor soccer balls).
Art Equipment: $1,258.93 (oil and dry pastels, color pencils, wax pencils, standard markers, wide markers, water colour tablets, roll of white paper, construction paper, assorted brushes, assorted coloured bead kits, acrylic paints, assorted art kits).
Recreation Equipment: $500.68 (Othello, Yahtzee, Sudoku, Battleship, Bingo, Domino, Checkers/Tic-Tac-Toe Board).