Calgary, AB – A year can make a big difference. Throughout 2018, The Educational Partnership Foundation (TEPF) worked diligently on expanding its programs and reach in order to serve teachers and students across Alberta.
“We have made many positive changes as we move toward our province-wide expansion,” says Barb Simic, President and CEO of TEPF. “We have set ourselves up for growth and the ability to successfully reach 700,000 students in Alberta with new and revitalized programming.”
Here’s a quick look at how the plan has come together:
Improving Literacy Across Alberta
The well-loved literacy program, Reading… Give it a Shot!, that served six school districts in the Calgary area with Calgary Flames collector hockey cards was expanded with new collector cards and new locations. First, Canadian Wildlife cards were printed in partnership with Canadian Geographic to increase the selection of collector cards in the program.
“Teachers and students alike love these new Canadian wildlife cards because the animals are attractive, and we included science-based fun facts about the animals printed on the back of the cards,” explains Cleo Howe, Marketing Manager.
The program was initially offered out to the Lethbridge and Fort McMurray in the spring of 2018. In the fall, it was promoted across Alberta. So far 156 schools from 20 school districts have responded. The reading enhancement program has been very well received. In fact, 100% of teachers who ran the program in the Lethbridge area would recommend it to other teachers and over 87% said student reading levels improved.
Creating Future Environmental Leaders
After careful analysis, the Citizenship in Action program was retired June, 2018 and replaced by the Environmental Actions grant.
“We know that environmental is a crucial step towards environmental excellence and energy use reduction. This is of paramount importance in Alberta. It made sense to direct this grant program toward creating young and energetic environmental leaders in our province,” says Simic.
This new grant is being well-utilized. To date, TEPF has approved 43 grants, with a goal of supporting 65 schools in the 2018/19 school year.
Hands-On High School Trades Careers
TEPF also launched a new High School Trades Career programs in Calgary and Edmonton and Lethbridge, in 2018. This unique off-campus trades program addresses a critical need for skilled trades and a high school dropout rate of nearly 10,000 students each year. The program offers credited, one semester Pipefitters, Ironworkers and Millwrights trades education.
“This program gives students the opportunity to go off-campus into first-class trades union facilities and be taught by journeyman trades people,” explains Simic. “It can often lead to summer and apprenticeship opportunities with the potential to not only increase high school graduations rates but help students to graduate and go directly into a trade career.”
The 2018 Trades Careers program statistics show that 50% of students that attended secured a job in the trades industry.In addition, a TEPF Trade Bursary will be available to help students who continue to pursue their trade career.
Exciting new Partnerships
With any expansion comes new partnerships. TEPF is partnering with Union facilities, the Alberta Government, Workforce Development Trust, RBC Foundation, Calgary Flames, Data Communications Management, One Transport and many others to deliver their education programs across Alberta. Many in-kind sponsors have donated generously throughout the year. In addition, the Links and Legends Charity Golf tournament raised more funds in 2018 than ever in its history.
TEPF has withstood the test of time with foundational education programs that have been well-loved in the Calgary area. Today, these valuable programs can be utilized by all teachers and students throughout Alberta.
TEPF is now serving more than 700,000 students across Alberta. Stay tuned, the future looks bright