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Youth Faith Day: Public Board Meeting Comments

September 22, 2014

ECSD is considering the possibility of hosting a Youth Faith Day in February 2016.  Here are the comments I made at the Sept. 9, 2014 public board meeting in regards to this event:

I appreciate all the work that has gone into providing our trustees with this information. I like the idea of a Youth Faith Day and supported the motion at the April 29, 2014 public board meeting to request our administration to research the possibilities of hosting one.  Even though I like the idea of a Youth Faith Day, I don’t like the idea of it costing $100,000 – $113,000 to host a 3 ½ hour event.

Though I think the administration has done well to save money by piggy backing this event with the Faith Development Day for teachers, I believe that this event is too costly and the money could be better used to hire additional aides for our special needs children which would provide additional supports for our teachers with special needs students in their classrooms.  This issue was raised by the teachers involved in the C2 committee and so we know that this is an important issue for teachers.  If we have $100,000 let’s spend it on hiring 3 more aides.

We also have a meal program at Ben Calf Robe School which I know is short of money due to increased enrolments.  $100,000 would go a long way in feeding the FNMI students attending this school.  I believe that by being an example of how we care for our most vulnerable students, we will be inspiring our junior high students as one of the report’s goals states:  “to be empowered to make a change within themselves and into the world”.  We will as a leadership team evangelize our young people by showing them how we live out our faith in Jesus by taking concrete actions to improve the lives of our hungry students.

What I am saying is that I like the idea of the Youth Faith Day but I can’t in good conscience agree to spend $100,000 on it.  I am also one who believes in compromises.  I would suggest that if we believe it really has to happen then let’s find ways to scale it back a bit by holding the event in a large school gym for a smaller group of students but which is streamed to other sites using our own equipment.  If it absolutely must be held at the Shaw Conference Centre, then let’s look at whether we really need to spend $59,000+ dollars for technical needs.  I am sure that the students would get just as much of the message with a couple of microphones.  With the money saved, let’s devote it to those students who most need it in our district.

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