With the traditional school year coming to a close, it’s a great time for a quick update on student impacts and valuable donation initiatives.



Full STEAM Ahead for Students – a Great Success!

After a short hiatus, EducationMatters’ Board of Governors decided to have a party, one that would inspire interest and donations for grants for CBE students. Full STEAM Ahead for Students did just that.

IMG_3652Over 120 people gathered in the Calgary Board of Education Centre to be welcomed by board Chair Mike Shaikh, who reminded the audience that a strong public education system equals a stronger community. Joy Bowen-Eyre, CBE Chair of the Board of Trustees, spoke to the group about the limitless opportunities to enhance education and gave the example of her friend’s creation of the Transgender Community Award, for members and allies of transgender and gender diverse communities.

IMG_3606Other speakers included Rachelle, a CBE and University of Calgary graduate. When her father became terminally ill, the CBE worked with her to ensure she could continue her studies, and be with her dad as much as possible during his last couple of years. Along the way, and with the help of a teacher, she discovered a passion for science and biology, and she continues to soar in her areas of interest today.

IMG_3548Liana Appelt, a proud CBE employee, also shared her story. As a young CBE student, she faced great adversity at home. Yet with the encouragement and guidance of numerous educators along the way, she surpassed her parents’ and even her own vision of what her educational future could look like, and is now pursuing a PhD. Liana noted that it was the inspired extra enhancements, which helped her to succeed and find her voice.

Throughout the evening, guests were served by culinary students from James Fowler High School, who also created the fabulous appetizers and desserts for the evening. Guests were impressed with their culinary creations and with the fine hospitality. They also enjoyed the jazz music being beautifully performed by CBE graduates Ben Isenstein (an EducationMatters award recipient) and Caleb Klager.

IMG_3514The pièce de résistance was CBE alumnus Brian Keating’s keynote presentation. Brian’s overarching message was to get outside and learn about, and commune with the natural world. His message was inspiring, and guests will fondly remember Brian’s enthusiasm for the rejuvenation of the whooping crane population in Canada, and the phenomenal video of Brian’s hair being groomed by an intrigued and trusting chimpanzee.

The EducationMatters team and volunteers know that we cannot bring opportunities to publicly educated students without the support of many. We are grateful for our numerous volunteers, silent auction donors and sponsors, and in particular, Southland Transportation and RGO.

The grand total raised for the evening? Over $60,000! These funds will go directly towards grants for schools and student awards.

Thank you to all our guests – and thank you for all of the opportunities which you help to create for Calgary’s publicly educated students.

To view more photos from the event, please click here.

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Birdies for Kids

rsz_birdies_for_kids_-_full_colour_shield1The Birdies for Kids program, a part of the Calgary Shaw Charity Classic since 2015, has benefited numerous organizations throughout the city. By donating through the Birdies for Kids program, up to 50% of your gift is matched, increasing it’s impact!

To make a donation, click here. Please ensure you select “EducationMatters” as your Participating Charity.

For more information about the Birdies for Kids program, click here.

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A Story of Impact

JadenAs a supporter of EducationMatters, you are having an impact on Calgary’s students. Below is a short thank you letter from the proud parent of a student who struggled with health issues and learning challenges. Today he is looking forward to working in the plumbing and pipefitting trades and is succeeding in part due to your support!

I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to you for giving my son, Jaden, the opportunity to attend and complete the Plumbing and Pipefitting program. Jaden really enjoyed the program and the experience of learning these new skills. He especially like welding. We are currently working with FSCD supports to help with employment/job placement opportunities.

Jaden is looking forward to having a summer job that will compliment his new skills and plans to upgrade Math & English in the fall that will leave his options open to apprentice in the future.

As a result of a congenital blood disorder, Jaden was transfusion dependent from birth until six years of age. A misdiagnosis at three months of age exposed Jaden to three days of chemotherapy, and at six years of age, a bone marrow transplant (which cured the transfusion dependency), exposed him to a collection of chemotherapy drugs again.

Both of these exposures set up Jaden for a future of learning delays affecting his speech early on, and cognitive abilities along the way. It was no surprise that Jaden’s self esteem suffered tremendously and he was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in early childhood. He was nervous about starting the plumbing and pipefitting course (as he is with all new things), but with the encouragement from both Laura Freeborn and Don Middleton, he attended the intro workshop and thought he would enjoy it.

Jaden enjoys working with his hands and this program seemed fitting. To offer this kind of program and experience to students at a high school level, to me, is an amazing privilege!

It was just a few years ago, when Jaden’s confidence was at his lowest and he voiced his opinion that “he wouldn’t amount to anything in life”. So heartbreaking as a parent to hear these words coming from your child. Especially a child who endeavored so much medically. We found such wonderful support the following year at Lord Beaverbrook High School and the [Knowledge & Employability] Program. Jaden quickly started to see himself as worthy. Although he still struggles with anxiety, he can now see his future working in the pipe trade industry and we have Local 496 and EducationMatters to thank for that!

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You are Making a Difference!

You are changing the lives of publicly educated students in Calgary, and we wanted you to see a snapshot of how you are doing it!

Take a look at our new video! We hope you enjoy it!

With your help, students are realizing their paths to the future. Thank you for all of your contributions!

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