It’s amazing the good some toonies—and school spirit—can do. This year, 74 schools in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board participated in Toonie Tuesday, raising over $25,000 to support students in crisis. The schools-based effort represents the most successful Toonie Tuesday in the history of the Education Foundation of Ottawa (EFO), according to Executive Chris McGarvey.
The EFO’s mission is to ensure every student is prepared to learn and succeed. To that end, it provides food, warm clothing in the winter months and emergency medication to almost 15,000 students annually.
Toonie Tuesday efforts help make this possible. OCDSB schools have hosted a variety of activities to raise funds, including pajama days, crazy hat days, dances and presentations by guest speakers. All these funds raised through Toonie Tuesday have gone directly to a Students in Crisis Fund that supports the extraordinary and emergency needs of individual OCDSB students experiencing financial hardship.
In 2011/12 more than $150,000 was provided to schools and families in need through the Students in Crisis Fund. The EFO’s McGarvey notes that in the current economic reality, all schools have some students grappling with serious financial hardship. That means every toonie counts.
While the EFO supports participation in music, drama, sports and other activities, it also works with donors to provide long-term solutions to enhance the educational experience of young learners. There’s a real need. After all, it’s estimated over 40,000 children live in poverty in Ottawa. And every school-based effort to support them provides a valuable life lesson in itself.
Congrats to OCDSB students, teachers, office staff members, vice-principals and principals for a job well done!