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The Vinery Alternative program supports approximately 22 Indigenous and non-Indigenous students aged between 13-16 years old from all over Vancouver. Our program culture is positive and inclusive and we are passionate about serving this resilient population of students who have complex issues and barriers to their success. Due to the complexity of our students' needs and issues, the team aim to be creatively resourceful and realistic in what we can offer our youth, particularly with their day-to-day stressors around their basic needs (Food/Clothing/Necessities). We are aware of the immense struggles and barriers that frequently impact our students and their families. Often, our youth will arrive at school without adequate nutrition, consistently wearing the same clothing, or wearing clothing not suitable and appropriate to the climate.
The purpose of the grant is to address the basic needs of our students throughout the 2021/2022 school year. Food would be used to help support the students when they arrive in the morning, and provide some groceries to send home to their families, as needed. Kitchen utensils and groceries would allow staff to prepare food for and with students at school. A food budget would also allow us to provide students with celebrations like welcome and graduation parties and birthday cakes.
Outdoor clothing such as umbrellas, rain jackets, and boots would be used to support our students where necessary so that they can attend school no matter the weather and we can hold programming outdoors year-round throughout the school year. Students would have the opportunity to shop with the staff when possible as part of programming, or staff would collaborate with the students and purchase the item.
We have very limited access to school facilities (gym / weight room) and a grant would allow us to expand our offerings to students. Funds would be used to purchase art supplies and sport equipment to use in-house and to fund guest speakers and fieldtrips in the local area.
We would like to purchase computers for the classroom so that students can access online learning opportunities to build their literacy and math skills and for students who struggle with written output. Many of our students have anxiety and concentration challenges that make it hard for them to pay attention in class.
[AAS21-257, AAS21-258, AAS21-292]
In the fall of 2011, the school year had barely begun at Admiral Seymour elementary when teacher Carrie Gelson, frustrated after a difficult day at work, wrote an impassioned open letter to Vancouver residents asking whether anyone cared that her inner-city students were coming to school cold, hungry and with holes in their shoes. And then something wonderful happened. On the day that The Vancouver Sun published her letter, Gelson arrived at the East Vancouver school to discover that, “People had already dropped off thousands of dollars in cash . . . they literally drove into work that morning bringing donations.”
Clearly, Gelson had revealed a pressing need in our communities and, in keeping with our paper’s long-vested philanthropic commitments, we not only told her story from a journalistic perspective, but asked our readers — through our Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund charity — to help her students and others. And come through our generous readers did.
A decade later, The Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund’s Adopt-a-School project has raised more than $8 million in donations both large and small, from individuals and from companies alike, and not just money but clothing, school equipment and field trips.
Since the beginning, our commitment has been to ensure that every single penny donated goes directly to the children, and we have continued to honour that promise. When you donate to The Vancouver Sun Children's Fund, 100 per cent of your donation goes to help children and youth. None of your donation goes to administration costs.
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