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A strong public education system is the cornerstone of a healthy and vibrant community. The best public education happens when the community participates in its development to ensure that disadvantaged students succeed in school and that every student is prepared for adult life. Our supporters make educational enhancement programs possible in the Calgary Board of Education and provide student awards, scholarships, and bursaries to ensure that Calgary students have the opportunity to achieve more.

Our History

The year was 2003. Several Calgary Board of Education Trustees identified a need to reach out to the Calgary community to support non-core enhancement programs and initiatives for Calgary’s public education students.

Established as a non-profit foundation under the original name, The Calgary Board of Education Foundation, the trust’s initial year involved establishing charitable status, recruiting its Board of Governors, hiring foundation staff, articulating a vision and creating a mission.

In January 2005, the trust’s name changed to EducationMatters to better reflect its standing as Calgary’s public education trust. That same year, the trust carried out careful research to determine the needs in the community, and how best to focus the foundation’s efforts both for the student, the donor and Calgary’s public education system.

We developed two important priorities – to ensure that disadvantaged children succeed in school and to ensure that all youth are ready for adult life. These priorities would address specific focus areas including literacy, career and life-skills development, leadership and civic engagement. Our donors also indicated their desire to see support for economically disadvantaged and special needs students, ELL/Diversity, athletics and keeping students in school.

Vision & Mission


A society that promotes and values excellence in public education.


To promote and facilitate community engagement with public education, to enhance and enrich the education offered to all students – enabling them to fully realize their potential and become valued and contributing global citizens.


  • We enhance and advance public education in Calgary  by providing awards and grants that help students;
  • We mobilize resources by offering a wide range of donation opportunities that support the community’s commitment to excellence in public education and relief of poverty for school-age children;
  • We inspire passion for public education by fostering dialogue about the role of public education in our society.

What We Support

EducationMatters funds programs and awards that are as diverse as the students in public education. Some develop leadership skills and encourage students to become civic-minded. Others introduce new ways of learning and give challenged students and students with special needs opportunities to fulfill their potential. While others address literacy, career and life skills development.

There are rising expectations of public education to meet the demands of our ever-changing world. Your private donations help fund non-core educational enhancements that enrich and enhance public education students, helping them to succeed. We work closely with the Calgary Board of Education, leaders in Calgary’s education sector, and our Grants Committee to review and evaluate programs for funding support. We give priority to programs that are innovative, address critical issues and needs, have system-wide potential and that REALLY do make a difference.

We currently manage over 100 endowment and flow-through funds with an endowment portfolio of over $4.6 million. EducationMatters also manages and supports over 80 Student Awards.  For more information on EducationMatters visit our resources page.

Our annual grants are awarded to programs that address:

  • Career, Health & Life Skills
  • Literacy & Technology Enhancements
  • Financial Assistance

Career, Health & Life Skills

Students have the opportunity to go further in life when they can uncover and identify their passions while still in school. These passions become a catalyst for progressing into successful careers and developing important life skills.

For many students this discovery isn’t an easy journey as they overcome challenges and multiple hurdles to successfully make it through school and into post secondary.

We provide funding for a variety of career, life skill and transition programs and initiatives, such as:

  • Cosmetology: Building Careers and Enhancing Life – Louise Dean School
    This program helps young moms expand their minds through hairstyles and skin care, and gain valuable career skills.
  • Aboriginal Summer Work Experience Program – CBE
    Through a grant from EducationMatters and with the help of a member of CBE staff, Aboriginal youth had an opportunity to have a summer work position that allowed them to identify their skills and transition into the work place.
  • Towards a Compassionate Learning Community – Cambrian Heights School
    Character education, literacy and culture were the learning focuses of this program.

Literacy & Technology Enhancements

Literacy can mean many things. The traditional definition of reading, writing & language, but also financial literacy, numeracy skills and artistic/musical literacy. Supporting student achievement in these areas is a high priority for EducationMatters.

We support student’s love for literacy by providing grants to programs like these:

  • Celebrating Reading Program – Dr. Oakley School
    Dancing, storytelling and celebrating literacy, this program was funded by a generous gift from the Calgary Flames Foundation for Life and the support of Calgary Flames Ambassador Steve Major
  • Learning Commons Project – Langevin School
    A space with a flexible and fluid learning atmosphere, where students are able to study and interact.
  • Home Reading and Writing Program – Chris Akkerman School
    Books on trucks, dinosaurs and favourite characters. When students are passionate about their books, they need lots of them