December 5, 2012

Adopt-a-School sets example for assistance


By Patti Bacchus, 

Chairperson, Vancouver Board of Education

Over the past year and a half, several Vancouver schools have been inundated by the generosity of The Vancouver Sun and its many partner organizations and donors.

The support pouring into our schools has been nothing short of incredible. Some schools have benefited from monetary and equipment donations. Other schools have seen a wave of new eager and enthusiastic volunteers.

The generosity of the Adopt-a-School program has been heartening for us at the Vancouver school board and a clear indication of how much the people of Vancouver care about children whose lives are affected by poverty.

In addition to marshalling so many much-needed resources for our schools and the students who attend them, the Adopt-a-School program has also shone a bright light on the challenges many inner-city staff and families experience every day.

It’s clear poverty is a major hurdle for thousands of B.C. students seeking a quality education.

It’s also clear that no matter how much money The Vancouver Sun and its caring donors raise, these systematic challenges run too deep to be solved solely through the charity work of the private sector, individuals, non-profit groups and unions.

It is time for us to collectively call on the provincial government to take a leadership role in developing and implementing a comprehensive poverty-reduction program to address child poverty at its roots.

This plan must include increases to minimum wages and welfare rates, access to affordable, quality child care, affordable housing and additional investments in school and community services.

Until the provincial government supports and joins The Vancouver Sun and its partners in battling child poverty, many children and youth will continue to struggle to succeed in school and in life.

In the meantime, on behalf of the Vancouver school board, I want to sincerely thank The Vancouver Sun and all the supporters of Adopt-a-School for showing how much they care about children in need. What an outstanding demonstration of leadership, compassion and generosity.

The Vancouver Sun, letters to the editor, December 4, 2012

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